It’s Friday again!
Or, it was, when I started writing this. But now it’s a Sunday. That’s fine, you won’t be reading it until Tuesday anyway.
And before we begin, do you mind if I say a few words? I mean, I don’t care if you mind, really. I was only just being polite. But before I start, I’d like to make a brief statement.
The Bubble is growing very fast. I must admit, faster than any of us thought it would. We are obviously still giving our first steps, but considering we officially launched last September, I must say that I’m very proud of our brilliant staff and of what we’ve been able to accomplish.
We’re happy to provide a platform for a variety of voices that, while disagreeing on several issues, the end game is always to try and make some sense out of this collective experience we call Argentina.
And as our content continues to increase, eventually the Friday Roundup will become irrelevant. A relic from a past time when the only way for you to learn about what was happening was through a weekly summary. When we launched The Bubble, my vision was to create a website that replicated the tone of the roundup but offered more in-depth content. Like a roundup on steroids.
As our staff continues to grow, this is becoming more and more of a reality. We have increased our content and – while still lacking the manpower – we try to provide you with the most relevant stories of the day. Very soon, we hope The Bubble will become your go-to site for anything related to Argentina.
And with your support, which has kept us going since we launched five months ago, we are more than certain that we will be able to achieve that this year.
Now I’ll shut up. This is what you need to know:
- In politics this week, the most relevant controversy was the one involving Fútbol para Todos and Marcelo Tinelli. But since to me anything involving the word “fútbol” has to go all the way to the end of the line, you’ll have to scroll all the way down to read about it. The second most important news of the week was that Vice-President Amado Boudou may have to testify soon in an influence peddling case after prosecutor Jorge Di Lello asked Federal Judge to summon him for questioning as a non-indicted witness. For those of you not acquainted with the case, the Vice-President is accused of using the power of his office while he was Economy Minister to lower the tax debt of the mint and printing company Ciccone. On Friday, Boudou showed up in court to say he had not committed any crime.
- It was a tragic week for Argentina. First, nine first responders were killed after a wall collapsed on top of them while they were trying to put out a fire in a Barracas warehouse. Only two days after that, when the country was still mourning them, a head-on collision between a passenger bus and a truck outside Mendoza left at least 17 people dead.
- It’s a Christian miracle! On Sunday, several newspapers announced that as the National Government, business leaders and unionists get ready for war when collective bargaining begins, the Pope has reached out to the three sectors in hopes that they all meet with him at the same time and find a solution to the looming crisis. What a guy, this Pope. Not only he is working hard to restore faith in an aging institution, he even takes time to help fix his own country’s problems. We love you, the Pope!
- Wait, hold that thought. Apparently the Pope said “Da fuq?” this morning, and denied calling anyone for whatever meeting. Which either means he’s lying or the local press made it up. Whatever the case may be, we’re on our own. Get ready for collective bargaining, everyone. Unions are asking for a 35 percent salary increase (teachers are asking for 61 percent!) and the Government says they should settle with something below 30 percent. Think the situation is complicated now? Wait until the strikes begin.
- Dozens of children between the ages of 12 and 15 were scarred for life this weekend after a freaking S-31 submarine from the Argentine Navy suddenly surfaced right in the middle of their little optimist race in Mar del Plata. Children were screaming and parents were fuming at the sight of a monstrous behemoth suddenly coming up from beneath, that miraculously didn’t hurt anyone, but could have sent their little boats flying as if they were made of paper. I mean, have you seen those things? The race obviously had to be suspended and the organizers of the event are already demanding an official explanation from the Ministry of Defense. Video below.
- Some of the geniuses behind the Unidos y Organizados Kirchnerite movement decided that in order to fight price hikes, it would be good to publicly humiliate the CEOs of some of the evil companies that reside within our city limits. You know, such as Fravega, Carrefour, Shell, Coto… companies that (shockingly) care more about making money than making people happy with rainbows and unicorns and care bears and all the other things that we as a society need in order to turn that frown upside down. So those brave Kirchnerite kids decided to bravely defy the establishment and covered the city with posters featuring the faces and names of those greedy CEOs along with the tagline: “These are the ones stealing your salary.” And true, it is kind of a fascist practice that reminds us of the some of the darkest period of European history, but look on the bright side… OK, there is no bright side. Anyway, my favorite part about all this is that one of the posters, the one featuring Fravega CEO Liliana Frávega, didn’t actually feature Liliana Frávega but Frente Renovador lawmaker Liliana Schwindt. “They probably googled Frávega, my photo came up and they didn’t even bother checking,” she said.
— El Popular Medios (@elpopularmedios) February 7, 2014
— Liliana Schwindt (@LILIDEOLAVARRIA) February 7, 2014
- Ugh. The football is back. The Fútbol para Todos (FPT), the National Government’s most powerful propaganda machine (they admitted it’s a political tool) has made a less than stellar comeback to television after a very public kerfuffle between TV megastar Marcelo Tinelli and the President. It is all explained in detail here, but basically Tinelli was hired to “reboot” the FPT and make it less political. And when he started making changes to turn the broadcast of the Primera División games into a more neutral sporting event, the President fired him.
- The good news is that our very own Dan Edwards, along with some help from Sam Kelly, compiled a list of Primera División cliches that those of you into the football will be able to enjoy in ways that I couldn’t even possibly imagine, since I hate football.
- Last but not least, if you were hoping to go see Rafa Nadal next week, you’re screwed. He is not coming to Buenos Aires.
Have a great weekend, kids!