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Thomas: Argentinian life & politics in 2011

November 3, 2011

Recently, Argentina held a presidential election that gave President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner another term in office. Christina, as she is often referred to, is the wife of the late Nestor Kirchner, who died last year. Nestor was president of Argentina from 2003-2007 and became extremely popular due to Argentina’s miraculous economic recovery after the country suffered a devastating economic collapse in 2001. That year, Argentina took home the not so coveted prize for being the biggest economy in the World to default on its loans. Remember when Congressional Republicans in the United States this Summer threatened to not raise the country’s debt ceiling and default on our loans as a negotiating chip with President Obama? Well, when a country defaults on it’s obligations or debt, it is the worse thing that could happen to the economy. When it happened in Argentina in 2001, people lost their entire life savings and several people were forced into poverty. The country basically started from scratch, economically.

Nestor Kirchner helped Argentina recover, back into somewhat prosperity. His wife, Christina ran for President after he served two terms. At first, she wasn’t as popular as her husband, but when the economy continued to grow and when Nestor suddenly died in 2010, the country felt sorry for her and her approval ratings skyrocketed. She was a shoe-in for re-election and won with well over 50% of the popular vote and 22 of the 23 provinces.

Though the economy is booming now, the uptick won’t last long. For example, there is massive inflation. The peso is weak, but things like electronics, clothes, and food are nearly unfordable for many Argentinians. I thought I was going to buy clothes for myself here, but after having checked out the prices, I decided to wait.

Fareed Zakaria with CNN and Time did a great story about the Argentine economy yesterday that is worth watching. Check out the link below.

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/31/zakaria-saving-argentinas-last-dance/

The good news for me is that I will be shipping out before this economic bubble bursts. Unfortunately Argentinians will have to once again suffer through more difficult economic circumstances.

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