Cablegate: Media Reaction: Imf-Argentina; the Us in Afghanistan;
DE RUEHBU #1111/01 2801508
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071508Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4449
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001111
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IMF-ARGENTINA; THE US IN AFGHANISTAN;
10/07/09; BUENOS AIRES
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Leading international stories today are focused on Argentina
returning to the IMF fold after its alleged "emancipation" of 2006;
and the war in Afghanistan.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "More make up"
Leading "Clarin's" political columnist Jorge Luis Velazquez writes
(10/07), "The (Argentine) Government did not meet its maximal goal -
getting IMF support without any kind of monitoring, a sort of blank
check for what it interprets as a sound financial, tax and foreign
"Just like any other member of the 'club', it had to accept the
visit to the country of an IMF delegation to perform an annual
review of the country's economy. This is why the negotiation will be
limited to some sort of 'make up' - that the final statement does
not include any objection to the economic scenario, which the
official discourse considers 'revealed truth.'"
- "Convincing Kirchner rather than the IMF"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion's" political columnist Carlos Pagni
opines (10/07), "Nestor Kirchner is (Economy Minister Amado)
Boudou's obstacle in his rapprochement with financial markets. The
minister had thought the IMF meeting in Istanbul could be the
scenario to announce the default bonds swap. However, Kirchner made
him postpone the announcement. The President's husband does not want
to take the step without having agreed with the IMF on the terms of
its Article IV review of the national economy.
"... Kirchner is not the only obstacle in Boudou's road. It will
also be necessary to persuade the opposition in the Argentine
Congress that they are not infringing on the 2005 Bolted-shut
legislation, which prohibits any possibility of negotiating the debt
to holdout bondholders...
"... Kirchner does not want the IMF review to include
recommendations on the country's inflation rate or the INDEC
national statistics agency... He fears that the picture of
Washington officers arriving in Ezeiza could be seen as a sign that
he has surrendered to the enemy...
"... Argentina's financial suffocation has sparked increasing
political tensions. Unable to resort to markets, governors seek the
Argentine Government's cooperation or they raise taxes amid the
recession, just like Daniel Scioli has done. The choice would be
issuing quasi-currencies... Resources are barely enough to mitigate
the most urgent social demands, while protest demonstrations
multiply outside the palace."
- "Imminent Mass Financing"
Liberal, English-language "Buenos Aires Herald" editorializes
(10/07), "Soft-soaping the contradiction of returning to the IMF
fold after the 'emancipation' of 2006 will be difficult but by no
means impossible. A G20 economy returning to international capital
markets opens up the vista of so many billion dollars that creditor
goodwill should abound...
"Quite apart from the political camouflage, the IMF admittedly has
less reason to be especially demanding with Argentina because no new
loans are being requested for now - foreign currency reserves almost
50% higher than 45 months ago plus a hefty trade surplus and the
lowest country risk since mid-2008 mean that Argentina is nowhere
"Yet aside from even the most solvent economies not being exempt
from Article IV stipulating IMF monitoring, there would be valid
questions for an IMF mission within its task of investigating the
Argentine economy's fiscal, monetary, debt, inflation and banking
scenarios - for example, the capital flight of the last 30 months or
INDEC statistics bureau's methods for calculating inflation. The aim
of the mission is to be low-profile but if that profile were low to
the degree of being invisible, much of the point of returning to the
IMF fold would be lost - like Caesar's wife, it is almost more
important than Argentina be seen to be correct."
- "The US admits its retreat in Afghanistan"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion's" Washington-based correspondent Silvia
Pisani writes (10/07), "Eight years after the US invasion of
Afghanistan, the Barack Obama administration has it clear that
withdrawal 'is not a choice,' according to Defense Secretary Robert
Gates, who even admitted yesterday that the Taliban are winning the
"During a CNN interview, Gates pointed out that the Taliban are
winning the battle in Afghanistan because Washington and its allies
were unable 'to send enough troops' to ensure the victory. 'However,
we will not leave Afghanistan. The debate is on the next steps to be
"... The Democratic administration has to decide how to respond to
General Stanley McChrystal's request for 40,000 additional troops
for Afghanistan. The Obama administration has not made a decision
yet now that the US presence in Afghanistan is one of the most
unpopular causes in the US according to several opinion surveys.
"... The war in Afghanistan is already eight years long. During the
last months, many US soldiers have died in the confrontation. In
recent hours, Obama met with Congressional leaders and their
military advisors in order to decide how to tackle the impaired
safety in the region, as a previous step to deciding whether
additional troops should be sent to the Asian country."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at: