In a ‘Manifesto’ issued on February 21st an association of Argentinians in Spain has criticized the reception offered to Argentine President Mauricio Macri by the State and local authorities of Madrid.
Enrique Borcel (President of the Spanish-Argentine Council) said, “due to the regressive effects of his economic and social policies, his mention in the ‘Panama Papers’ and the illegal imprisonment of the social leader Milagro Sala, we object to the honours offered to Mauricio Macri during his official tour of Spain.”
The official text proclaims that due to the effects of his economic policies concerning Human Rights and nepotism (Correo Argentino, Panama Papers etc.), “We consider that President Macri deserves neither to receive the keys of the City of Madrid from the Town Hall nor to receive the honors of a truly Democratic President”.
We are a platform of different Argentinian organizations in Spain, including private citizens, united with the aim to publicise the infringement of human rights, social rights and to defend the constitution.
At the moment, the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, is on an official visit of Spain. After just over a year in office, not only have the economic and social policies been detrimental to those with lower incomes, but he is responsible for situations which have seriously undermined Human Rights.
In social-economic terms, during the first three months of government, his policies of cuts and huge increases in the costs of public services pushed 1.4 million people into poverty (according to the Catholic University of Argentina) and another 400,000 into a situation of misery, affecting 48.8% of the child population between 0-14 years, in a country where 50% of the student population does not finish secondary school education and more than one in three people are poor. The drop in GDP of around 3.5% in 2016 has substantially increased these figures. Pensioners have seen their pensions cut while inflation has reduced the purchasing power of salaries at the same time as unemployment has increased and a growing public debt is reviving the ghost of the country’s financial bankruptcy.
These have been violated due to the implementation of a policy of brutal repression of peaceful protests (with many wounded). Such was the case of the Mapuche people, denounced by Amnesty International, and the cases of many workers from different sectors (sugar industry, public employees, graphic artists etc.). What is particularly serious is the refusal to comply with the petitions from the United Nations, Amnesty International and the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights of the OAS (Organization of the American States) who are demanding the freedom of the social activist Milagro Sala who has been detained for over a year for having participated in a peaceful protest. At the same time, he has appointed an ex-military putschist as an executive civil servant, while members of his government have adopted the policy of denial employed by the military dictatorship in regards to the 30,000 people who were detained, disappeared and assassinated during the terrorist regime of the State. The modification of the Migration Law, together with a criminalisation campaign against immigrants, has contributed to the increase of xenophobia amongst the population.
Macri’s government has developed the habit of ignoring Argentina’s Congress and governing by Presidential decree, thereby adopting decisions of open nepotism. The most recent act was to cancel a debt of around 4.3 billion euros of a company belonging to Macri’s family, directly defying the authority of the Attorney General and an outright rejection of citizens’ rights. The President is also being investigated for having been publicly recognized in the “Panama Papers” for owning dozens of companies in tax havens. He has also removed, by decree, the legal prohibition that members of his family, and also of the government, may have the right to money laundering (“tax regularization”), thereby creating the suspicion of this being in favour of his family businesses. Other cases of the President’s personal backing of a foreign landowner – a personal friend, who intends to start a building project in a protected area and who has been accused of preventing access to a public lake, threatening a senator and polluting rivers – give the impression that the President not only doesn’t guarantee compliance of the law but also supports its violation. To this are added measures that violate the national sovereignty such as tolerating the occupation of the Falkland Islands by the United Kingdom.
For all these reasons we consider that President Macri deserves neither to receive the keys of the City of Madrid from the Town Hall nor to receive the honours that correspond to a truly Democratic President.
PlataformaArgentinosEnEspana: a platform of different Argentinian organizations in Spain, including private citizens, united with the aim to publicise the infringement of human rights, social rights and to defend the constitution.