jueves, agosto 10, 2006

Por suerte esto no lo lee nadie

Del Economist que sale esta noche en Londres:

IN 1993 Carlos Menem, then Argentina's president, made a deal. The congressional opposition allowed him the right to run for re-election and changed the constitution to make lawful decrees he had already issued. In return, the president's term was reduced from six years to four and his influence over other branches of government, such as the judiciary, was limited. The agreement, known as the Olivos Pact, expanded presidential power in some ways and restricted it in others.

The current president, Néstor Kirchner, is now casting off the fetters.
This is the work of a political virtuoso. Through changes in the tax system Mr Kirchner has cowed nearly all the provincial governors, historically the most effective counterweight to the presidency. By founding state-owned enterprises and re-nationalising privatised ones he has expanded the executive's power over employment and prices. He appointed a majority of the judges on the Supreme Court, then gained an effective veto over lower-court nominations. His biggest triumph came on August 3rd, when Congress gave him authority to reallocate government spending as he sees fit. Mr Kirchner may even circumvent term limits—the Olivos Pact holds him to two consecutive terms—by alternating presidencies with his wife, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, a popular senator.

So far, most Argentines are too grateful to Mr Kirchner for the economic recovery to join intellectuals and activists in bemoaning “hyperpresidentialism”. Opinion polls predict an easy win against all potential challengers in next year's election. “The best guarantee of the separation of powers is that Argentines can vote every two years [for Congress],” Mrs Kirchner told opposition senators during a debate on the budget law. “Don't be afraid, because if this government does horrible things as you fear it will, the people won't vote for it, just like they didn't vote for you.” Senator Kirchner neglected to mention that her husband's power grab makes such a catastrophe more likely.

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