Winter is coming! Or at least that’s what you thought on Saturday until Sunday brought about strangely Spring-like weather to confuse us all. Not to mention that the year is now officially in full swing and we all want to draw out the hours of the weekend by keeping as far from reality as possible.
Alas, Monday has come yet again jolting us back into reality. Here’s some of what you missed.
- The most talked-of event this weekend had nothing to do with politics. Well, maybe a little bit. As it turns out, President Mauricio Macri and Juliana Awada dined with Mirtha Legrand on Saturday night. For the record, this isn’t any old dinner: Legrand is arguably the biggest Argentine television personality on air (no shade Susana). Her programs (which involve eating lunch or dinner with celebrities) are so popular that they are almost always dissected later in the media. Although Macri tried to get the upper hand several times, he had obviously forgotten who is really in charge because his host was having none of it. All in all, it turned out to be a pretty tense affair in which Legrand touched on many thorny subjects, even telling the presidential couple upfront things like “I think you [both] do not see reality,” and “People don’t talk to you, they talk to me.”
- Of course, Legrand wasn’t the only one to let out a few zingers, and there are sure to be political repercussions to some of Macri’s comments. For example, Macri took a jab at Renewal Front (FR) leader Sergio Massa: “The problem [with him] is that he’s difficult to believe […] he changes too much.” Massa took to Twitter to say that “[Macri] and [former president] Cristina [Fernández de Kirchner] are two sides of the same coin,” and to point out that Macri got the minimum retirees wage wrong by AR $3,000. Oops (it’s AR $6,453, by the way).
Usted y Cristina son dos caras de la misma moneda. El que está perdiendo la confianza de los argentinos es usted.
— Sergio Massa (@SergioMassa) March 19, 2017
Presidente @mauriciomacri ¿No le parece que es importante que usted sepa cuánto cobra un jubilado?.
— Sergio Massa (@SergioMassa) March 19, 2017
“President Macri. Don’t you think it’s important for you to know how much a retiree earns?”
- One of the subjects that was touched upon in the infamous dinner with Legrand was the teachers’ strikes, which are set to continue this week, and Macri didn’t limit himself to the TV screen. He published what was considered a very harsh Facebook post: a photo of a class being conducted in the ruins of Hiroshima in 1945 with the words “FOR A COUNTRY TO GET ON ITS FEET, EDUCATION MUST NEVER STOP.” Subtle. Thanks for the uplifting message to brighten our Saturday, Mac. Obviously, this was not without controversy and had social media buzzing.
- Almost a year after being put in jail, Lázaro Báez (the controversial businessman at the center of the massive money laundering case named after him) has resurfaced in the media. The political TV show La Cornisa aired Báez’s will and testament last night, which states that none of his children could take over his companies or control his assets until 30 years after his death. The will was written in 2010, when Báez was in his mid-fifties, which is allegedly what “arouses suspicion,” according to the experts on the show, and could potentially provide clues regarding his relationship with former President Néstor Kirchner. In addition, the court authorized Báez to leave jail temporarily to visit his 89-year-old mother, who is critically ill and currently residing in Río Gallegos province.
- On his return from the Malvinas, Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel suffered an escrache — a form of public harassment — at Aeroparque yesterday alongside other members of the Commission for Remembrance. On their arrival, around 150 veterans and families of soldiers that were killed in the Malvinas began yelling “They are not NN [unnamed], they are national heroes!” According to them, Esquivel and the Commission have “politicized” the fallen by “framing” their deaths, making them victims of the military dictatorship, when in reality those soldiers died fighting for their country. Esquivel was given a letter by the angry group outlining that point of view.
- A Chilean mountain climber, Vicente Gamboa, found the remains of a newspaper from 1908 in the middle of the Andes in Mendoza province on Saturday. The issue of Le Courrier de La Plata is from November of that year and is allegedly in great condition, which sounds like a certain scene from Amélie. The issue of where it is to be kept is still under discussion: although Gamboa would like to keep it, he has recognized that it is a piece of Argentine history and is open to ideas for its conservation in Argentina. Any takers?
- Not a good week for Macri, according to Clarín’s Optimism Indices (published with data from the consulting firm Management and Fit): with the teachers’ strike at the center of the cited factors, the Political Optimism Index went down by 0.8 points while the Economic Optimism Index decreased by one whole point.
Go forth and show yourselves to be well informed, my loyal Monday readers!