It was almost 40 days since we had our last Cadena Nacional and the truth is we were missing it already. And what better excuse for a comeback than the fact that we non-defaulted this week? Because remember that while the financial world head honchos had decided that Argentina did indeed default, the local Government refuses to acknowledge that Argentina is not paying simply because Argentina did pay. It’s not our fault that some judge decided to freeze our payments. The money is there and the bondholders are ready to get it so, just like Cristina said a few weeks ago, they will have to come up with a new term.
#GrieFault seems like an apt choice.
But I digress. So Cristina returned and spoke for almost an hour and in her usual fashion, she called the Cadena in order to announce something that wasn’t what everyone was interested in hearing, but still managed to capture our attentions. First, she said she would be sending to Congress three different draft bills looking to increase consumer protection. She also announced that pensions would increase on a 17 percent in September.
And then, at the 25 minute mark, she said “I know you’re waiting for me to talk about something else… Well, I won’t let you down.”
She began by reading a 2004 speech by former President and late husband Néstor Kirchner in which he was already warning about the vulture funds and the “insatiable banks who still want to profit from a broken Argentina.” She took several jabs at the media and her party’s main presidential contender (at least for now) Sergio Massa.
But mainly, she went against those who criticize her administration for failing to come to an agreement with the vulture funds. “It’s not that we refuse to pay to them. It’s just that they want what the ruling says,” she said.
All in all, she was a lot more calm than I expected. She didn’t resort much to sentimentality and her rhetoric was a lot less virulent than expected. Probably because when it comes to the vulture funds case, most of the world is siding with Argentina.
“In closing, as President, and considering how much time in office I have left, it would be really easy for me to just sign and pay. But that’s not how I want to go down in history. I want to go down in history as a president who defended the interest of the Argentine people.”