Ah, Easter — the long weekend when opening the biggest assortment of chocolate eggs and Alka Seltzer packets as possible takes precedence over opening a newspaper or app.
As always, here’s The Bubble to bring you up to date on what happened over the weekend aside from overeating.
- The biggest news we got over the weekend was the sacking of National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (Incaa) head, Alejandro Cacetta. That happened on Friday, Throughout the weekend, the government justified its position while the artistic community and society at large condemned the move. Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña denied yesterday that Cacetta’s removal belied a government strategy to destroy Argentine national cinema. Meanwhile, Culture Minister Pablo Avelluto (who has come under a lot of fire over this), said that while he trusted Cacetta, “he didn’t have the courage to investigate truckloads of irregularities that have existed in the INCAA for years now.” Meanwhile, outrage continued on social media, including President Mauricio Macri’s niece, Naiara Awada. She published fierce criticism over the move on Instagram and Twitter (not for the first time) saying “No to the destruction of the film industry. Yes to [our] cinema.” Read more: Government And Artistic Community Clash Over Firing of INCAA Head
- The political TV show La Cornisa revealed last night that federal judge Sebastián Casanello will allegedly request further investigation into the finances of controversial businessman Lazaro Báez’s children. Thus far, the judicial system has allegedly been able to prove that AR $38 million were laundered from Báez’s construction company Austral Construcciones to Switzerland via the finance company SGI La Rosadita (remember the video?) before returning to Báez’s company. According to the report, these new investigations will begin in the upcoming days, so sit tight!
- Easter being, at its core, a religious holiday, Argentina’s highest profile religious figure, Pope Francis, was in the limelight. In his three-hour service, the Pope asked God to “bless those who fight against corruption” and specifically asked “Christ to support the efforts of those, especially in Latin America, who commit themselves to the common good of their societies, so often touched by political and social tensions, and in some cases consumed by violence.” Meanwhile, in Buenos Aires, the city’s Cardinal Mario Poli called for national unity because “Without reconciliation, there can be no nation.”
- President Mauricio Macri spent Semana Santa in his hometown Tandil, where he suffered an escrache or public humilliation on Saturday as he left church with his daughter Antonia. While some were just trying to say hello to the President, others held signs and banged on his car windows in protest over Milagro Sala’s continued imprisonment and the ongoing teacher-government conflict. Read more: Teachers Go Back To Striking After Forceful Removal From ‘Mobile School’ In Front Of Congress
- In economic news, a study by the Institute of Mass Consumption Studies (INDECOM) and the INDEC have revealed that small and medium-sized businesses (PYMES) have suffered 151,433 layoffs in the first months of 2017 while 6,800 such businesses have had to close their doors across several industries. “There has been a decrease in consumption by 25 percent in textiles, shoes, the metallurgical industry and furniture,” said Ariel Aguilar, the head of the Argentine Industrial Chamber of Leather Manufactures (CIMA). “This is compounded by a 30 percent increase in imports, which has reached up to 50 percent in some sectors,” he added.
- Radical lawmaker Elisa Carrió returned to the spotlight this weekend after making an appearance on Mirtha Legrand’s famous luncheon program on Sunday afternoon, Almerzo con Mirtha Legrand, in which she predicted that Macri would soon “beg her on his knees to get rid of [Supreme Court judge Ricardo] Lorenzetti,” alluding to her ongoing legal battles against him, and said that she would not be running for Buenos Aires Province governor because current governor María Eugenia Vidal doesn’t “want” her to be there. Former presidential candidate for the Victory Front (FpV) Daniel Scioli hinted at the possibility of putting himself forward for this year’s mid-term elections after being seen touring municipalities but only confirmed that he was “seeing things on the ground” and “testing the waters.”
- Tragedy struck Argentine football over the weekend as football fan Emanuel Balbo suffered a severe beating and fell from the stands, a three-meter fall that resulted in a coma from Saturday to his death early this morning. This happened in Córdoba province during a match between rival teams Belgrano and Talleres, a superclásico. It’s still unclear whether Balbo, a Belgrano fan, threw himself into the abyss in an attempt to save himself from the violence or if he was thrown off. Thus far, four people have been arrested but authorities have been unable to locate the person that started the violence against Balbo. Warning: the images in the video may be upsetting to some viewers.
Go forth and show yourselves to be well informed, by loyal Monday readers!