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Cablegate: Media Reaction Iraq Imf-Argentina Middle East Ftaa-Mercosur

VZCZCXYZ0028
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1364/01 1671937
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 161937Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4947
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001364

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION IRAQ IMF-ARGENTINA MIDDLE EAST FTAA-MERCOSUR
06/16/06; BUENOS AIRES


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Today's most important international stories include the US Senate
allegedly limiting US President Bush's war power in Iraq; the report
of external auditors on the IMF performance in handling the 2001
Argentine crisis and the Independent Evaluation Office's review; the
situation in the Middle East; and the upcoming Mercosur Foreign
Ministerial Meeting to be held in Buenos Aires.

Leading "Clarin," business-financial, center-right "InfoBae," and
Radio 10 AM 710 covered the meeting between Ambassador Lino
Gutierrez and the six Argentine young political leaders who will
travel to the US on an exchange program.

2. OPINION PIECES AND KEY STORIES

- "Bush's war power is limited"

Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," writes (06/16) "Only one week after
having confirmed the best news of recent months for the White House
in its daily battle over Iraq, US President George W. Bush's power
suffered a new and harsh recoil.

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"Yesterday, the US Senate approved a 65.8 billion-dollar emergency
package, which was asked by the US Pentagon for war, but, for the
first time, the US Senate established precise limits on the
President's powers to draft, finance and perform his war plans.

"... The boundary established by the US Senate is only budgetary,
but it is a clear parallel to the limits imposed decades ago on the
White House during the turn of the Vietnam War."

- "The IMF is accused of avoiding responsibility in the crisis"

Martin Kanenguiser, economic columnist of daily-of-record "La
Nacion," writes (06/16) "After an analysis of a previous report, a
group of experts hired by the IMF issued their findings yesterday.
They stated that the IMF avoided assuming its responsibility in the
2001-02 Argentine crisis...

"A panel of experts that reviewed the IMF Independent Evaluation
Office's performance stated that there was informative manipulation
in the Argentine case and that Washington authorities did not
provide enough cooperation to get an accurate assessment in the
necessary time."

- "Crossed accusations at the IMF over its role in the Argentine
crisis"

Ismael Bermudez, economic columnist of leading "Clarin," writes
(06/16) "The IMF Board publicly disputes the role it played in the
2001 Argentine crisis.

"While there has been controversy for a long time, the debate had
not been publicly commented on by IMF authorities. However, they
were unable to ignore the situation. The basis of the disagreement
comes from a report issued by a panel of experts (appointed by the
IMF itself) about the work done by the Independent Evaluation Office
(IEO).

"This report included strong criticism of the IEO. According to the
report, the IEO's task had certain 'weaknesses.' It strongly
disapproved of the IEO's work in Argentina by mid-2004, when the IEO
evaluated the IMF's role in the process leading to the end of the
convertibility system."

- "The signs of a lie can already be detected"

David Cufre, economic columnist of left-of-center "Pagina 12,"
writes (06/16) "The IMF manipulated information, scrimped
fundamental data about its negotiations with Domingo Cavallo, and
led independent evaluators to mistakes.

"These were the conclusions of a new group of external auditors
hired by the IMF to judge its performance. The document was posted
yesterday on the IMF Website. The report is highly critical. It
asserts that in evaluations of the IMF's performance in the 2001
Argentine crisis, the responsibility of the Argentine government was
exaggerated while the equally serious mistakes of the IMF were
disguised.

"In regards to the performance of the Independent Evaluation Office
(IEO), which drafted a report assessing IMF performance, auditors
explained that it passively accepted the IMF staff's intromissions
to the extreme, and thus changed its conclusions toward that
direction..."


- "One thousand and one mistakes"

Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading "Clarin," writes
(06/16) "The Palestinian territories are in the middle of chaos for
which they are not solely to blame. The combination of blind
interests, lack of perspective and all kinds of fundamentalisms
explain the lack of a State that fully represents that national
entity...

"All players have been wrong, particularly the US, which ignored the
moderate Palestinian administration, thereby contributing to the
arrival of extremist Hamas to power...

"The economic siege to which the Palestinians are being subject to
have African features. It will hardly serve to moderate violence -
it is rather an incentive to hatred."

3. EDITORIALS

- "Mercosur is under debate"

An editorial in conservative "La Prensa" reads (06/16) "The Mercosur
foreign ministerial summit hopes to reach deals that will allow for
strengthened regional integration, particularly in regards to
crucial international trade negotiations. One of the central things
to advance in is the decision to lead joint negotiations at the main
institutions; other important issues include drafting a new agenda
for the FTAA and a deal with the EU...

"In the past, the Argentine Governments often prioritized the trade
association with the US over that of Mercosur.

"... The impact of any trade or investment treaty depends on the
general conditions of such a deal, which depend on the economic
policy and expertise of every negotiating party."


To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our classified website
at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

GUTIERREZ

© Scoop Media

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