Cristina Fernandez: ‘We Have Ended Argentina’s Debt’

In her final speech to Congress, President Fernandez highlighted social gains, as well as the obstacles she and her husband have had to face.

Cristina Fernandez ArgentinaPresident Cristina Fernandez addressed the Argentine Congress Sunday for the last time before the end of her term in office, highlighting the gains made during her administration.

Thousands of supporters gathered in the streets surrounding Congress to listen to Fernandez’s speech.

Successful policies

Ranging from unemployment to foreign debt, the president outlined facts and figures showing the success of policies carried out during both her husband’s – late President Nestor Kirchner – and her own administration.

6 million jobs have been created since 2003

“This model (by both governments) made work, employment and industrial development the key elements to growth,” explained Fernandez, after showing that over 6 million jobs have been created since 2003.

The president also highlighted the situation Argentina was facing when her husband came to power, with a historic foreign debt that had caused an economic catastrophe in 2001.

We have ended Argentina’s debt

“Never again will our governments indebt themselves to pay other debts. If we acquire any new debt it will be for development projects, but not for the gains of the international financial system,” she said. “We have ended Argentina’s debt.”

Furthermore, the president highlighted that Argentina today has the highest minimum wage in Latin America, an achievement she says has only been possible by implementing social welfare policies and increasing income equality.

In this sense, the president highlighted the Procrear Plan which her government launched, providing credit to middle-class people who do not qualify for private bank loans despite meeting income requirements.

Difficulties experienced

Fernandez also referred to the difficulties she and her husband have had to face due to issues from the past, such as debt and human rights abuses committed during.

“We have fulfilled our duties but we also have taken responsibility over all that was left unattended (…) it was heavy baggage,” she said.

Labor laws were also underscored by Fernandez, explaining that during her government 48 new labor laws were approved by Congress, including a government proposed bill that recognizes housewives’ rights.

“Today they (housewives) have dignity, today they have vacations, today they have social security,” she added.

This law, together with a series of government-led initiatives, led to the decrease of informal unemployment for the first time since 1980.

“All of this has not been magically achieved (…) we have had political will and the courage to face whatever we have to face” said Fernandez.

Source:  Cristina Fernandez: ‘We Have Ended Argentina’s Debt’  TeleSUR

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