Thursday , April 22 2021

María Eugenia Vidal: "Today all the options on the electoral calendar are open"

The governor admits internal differences in Change, but maintains that "silence" is worse; recognizes that the alternatives are evaluated to compete with Peronism Credit: Santiago Filipuzzi

After a week in which the possibility of the province of Buenos Aires advancing its elections dominated much of the political discussion, the governor

Maria Eugenia Vidal

try to cool the subject a little. However, in an interview with
THE NATION admits that "today all options in

electoral calendar

they are open "and that was discussed in the province and in the nation." She emphasized that this will be defined in the first quarter of 2019, along with the other candidacies, including his, except for Mauricio Macri, who "should be reelected", says

The president prefers to be involved in management, such as in the negotiations for the provincial budget, in adopting measures to alleviate the situation of Buenos Aires affected by the economic crisis or in the possibility of finally agreeing on teachers' salaries. . Despite the critical situation, it is quiet. "The difficulties energize me," he says in a lecture at the Railway Museum, where he has one of the offices in the city of Buenos Aires.

It does not shy away from the electoral issue and argues that in 2019 everything will be reduced to a dispute between "those who ruled by 2015" and

Let's change

"Among those who have reported a parallel reality and those who govern with the truth, between those who start work and finish them and give a fight to drug trafficking instead of sharing their business," he summarizes. One way to reaffirm that, in your opinion, will not be the economy that will decide the presidential elections and governor of Buenos Aires. He admits that within Change we have differences and discussions, but He minimizes them.

-We start with the announcements you just made: the Christmas Bonus Advance and a bonus payment for


. Why can the province do it and the nation does not?

– We received the payment of
a bonus of $ 3,500 for retirees and pensioners earning less than $ 10,000, continuity of 50% discounts on food and now on Christmas products paid with Banco Provincia cards, as well as reinforcement of social items, so that all Social programs are above inflation. We will also increase food delivery by the end of the year

Source: LA NACION – Credit: Santiago Filipuzzi

"But that exposes the nation. Looking to differentiate?

"That's spoken to the national government. The difference is that the number of retirees in the province is lower and the minimum number of the province is lower. They also made the advance of the Christmas bonus and reinforced the social games.

– How do the province's accounts close in 2018, since in 2019 a significant adjustment is expected?

-This year we will have fulfilled the law of fiscal responsibility, we will have supported the works, which implies not only maintaining them but sustaining the work that is involved in each one. In addition, we reduce taxes because in the budget, the gross income is reduced.

– In any case, he has received complaints about the increase in property taxes, especially in the agricultural sector.

This has to do with a policy of charging more taxes on property and not on what it produces. When you charge someone what you produce, you prevent them from generating work and we want more and more work to be done. And real estate increased on the basis of expected year-to-year inflation. In addition, in this year and in previous years, the tax increase has been translated into works, both in the interior and in the countryside. Works that were waiting for 30 or 40 years. There are 1800 works initiated and completed in our management.

Source: LA NACION – Credit: Santiago Filipuzzi

– In the case of the national budget, to reach the zero deficit, the ugly duckling was the province of Buenos Aires for the benefit of those governed by the PJ. Is it the Cost of Being an Employee?

"The province of Buenos Aires and the nation are the ones that made the most effort. The other provinces left with neutral balance or winners. It is the result of a demand of the Peronist governors: that the province of Buenos Aires loses. But with this proposal do not harm Macri or Vidal, but the Buenos Aires, which are 16 million Argentines.

What do you say to the people of Buenos Aires, who say: "We are the ones that contribute the most to the national GDP and those who receive less proportionally"?

"We will continue to do what we have already done, such as going to court to recover the Conurbian Fund, contrary to the silence that the previous governors maintained. And with the support of the President, we managed to recover $ 65 billion. We are now asking for $ 19 billion more to upgrade.

"Did the President and the rest of those who negotiated with the provinces do enough to make the distribution of adjustment fairer?"

"I do not doubt the commitment and good faith of those who conducted the negotiation. The national budget is the result of the number of votes in Congress and we have never had a majority. To get the votes they had to sit down with the rulers and with the opposition leaders, among whom there are Portenean leaders who did not defend the province.

– Could not the people of Buenos Aires think that they fell in the "yes mauricismo" to their detriment?

-If anything has become clear these years, Cambiemos has no one to decide and the others will applaud the Casa Rosada. We all have the ability to discuss, increase differences and reach agreements. And the people of Buenos Aires know that I have defended them all these years and will continue to do so. In addition, I will fulfill the commitment I made with them and that no other governor has assumed: not be a presidential candidate next year.

Source: LA NACION – Credit: Santiago Filipuzzi

"Why does not he want to be or why does not Macri introduce himself?"

-I do not want. And I will obey so that the province of Buenos Aires is not once again the place to look for votes and to which politicians forget when they govern. In addition, Mauricio should be re-elected.

"Are you going to look for your re-election?"

"One thing has nothing to do with the other. The most important application is that of Mauritius and has already been defined. The rest of the nominations and the electoral calendar is a discussion for next year. Today is not on the agenda of the people or mine.

– Are you going to advance the elections in Buenos Aires?

– Today all the options on the electoral calendar are open and possible, but it is not yet time to discuss them. Today my energy is in accompanying people at this difficult time.

"How are relations within the coalition?" UCR has sharply increased its anger, there have been criticisms of

Elisa Carrió

and you are told that you are

Rodríguez Larreta

they have differences with



-When we moved in started with Mauricio, Carrió and

Ernesto Sanz

nobody believed that we would join the 2015 election, so no one believed we would win, so no one believed we were going to rule and three years ago we are governing together. To me, if there is anything that gives me pride, everything that happens at Cambiemos can be expressed publicly. That the UCR can make the statement publicly, that Lilita can say the things she says and that I can express my differences speaks of a political space where there is no authoritarian leader, who challenges you and who has the truth revealed. We are a group of different people, with different histories and origins, and who do not always agree. I would be more concerned with silence than dissent and noise.

-As the impact

economic crisis

in the electoral scenario?

-He will give a deep discussion about what Argentina wants: no lies, no pointers, no


inside our homes, without uncontrolled play, with

it works

this beginning and end, with a difficult economic path, but that allows us to leave behind 70 years of crisis or if we want to return to the past.

-The "lies, drug traffickers in our homes, works that do not end" refer to the rest of the opposition and only Cambiemos implies "truth, finish the works and leave behind 70 years of crisis"?

– For now, reality indicates that the election will be between those who ruled until 2015 and us.

Source: LA NACION – Credit: Santiago Filipuzzi

– This reinforces the idea that Cambiemos seeks to polarize with Cristina Kirchner.

Power always has people. Politicians who have not understood this and believe that people decide what they say to the media or who knows who they have remained in the past.

-You have a close relationship with the Church, but this year the bond with the ruling party had tense moments.

– In addition to my faith, my connection with the Catholic Church, as with evangelical churches or social leaders, has to do with being where the poor are and where we are together. So the opinions of one bishop or another are private opinions.

-But the last Episcopal document was very critical.

-I read and believe that the Church is where it has to be, that is with those who suffer the most. So political interpretations are made. I remember the Church taking out documents when there were other governments in the social situation, corruption, drug trafficking. And everything is fine

When you see the Church with leaders accused of corruption, what generates it?

"It's when I have difficulty understanding and I do not share. Fortunately, after Luján's Mass with all the leaders, there was a clarification and an apology from Monsignor Radrizzani. That's what's important.

Do the Church and the Pope in particular seem different from Vidal than Macri?

I have never done or will not politically use the Pope or the Church. With him I have a bond of admiration and personal respect before being a father.

-The opposition denounces an attempt to discipline the provincial judiciary?

-There is a judicial reform, as has not been done so far. There are a number of laws that have come a long way thanks to the support of much of the opposition. On the other hand, in these three years the Council of Magistracy and the jury of accusation of the province worked. Surprisingly, in eight years of the previous administration there was not a single judge to resign except one by a shameful decision in a case of an abused boy. In those three years, judges involved in cases of drug trafficking, corruption, bribery, gambling, resigned? In time there are judges, police, gang leaders arrested. And, nationally, political prisoners.

"At the national level there are political prisoners, but that does not happen in the province. Because?

– Perhaps because the causes have not advanced enough, but today in the Judiciary there are no excuses or obstacles to not act. You have all the independence you need. We will not get involved so that no politician is arrested because this does not correspond, but the judges have all the freedom.

"How does this affect the judges who investigate former governor Scioli, when Macri receives him while a case against him advances?"

"It does not have to have any impact. The judges have my commitment to independence.

"Research shows that your image has recovered more than the president's.

-I have not looked at the searches for months [risas]. The President and I are part of the same team and we will continue to be like that, in addition, we do not see the issues in the same way and it is healthy that this is the case. We share the same values. In these three years he has always been with me. And we talk almost every day.

"Do you want to have a term as governor?"

– I want to end this mandate very well, that people say that during this time the government was close and something has changed for the better in their neighborhood, in their environment. Then it will be seen.

"Does that mean it's not clear if you want to continue?"

"That means it's not time yet."

The budget, Mass and teachers, the pending challenges

Two challenges that María Eugenia Vidal has pending before closing the year:

the approval of the provincial budget

and try to solve the

conflict with teachers

, which led to a historic record of days without classes this year. To achieve both goals, you must deal with difficult figures:

Sergio Massa

and trade union teachers.

Unlike Macri, Vidal developed a less confrontational relationship with Massa. It is not the case of the teacher leader,

Roberto Baradel

. That is why it is highly likely that Vidal will again agree with the Tigrense and get the votes of his legislators to have a budget, on the other hand, the subject of teachers will be more complicated.

-The most immediate goal for you is the sanction of the provincial budget. There were rejections from the opposition for the transfer to the municipalities of part of the expenses transferred by the Nation. How are the conversations?

-All years since 2015 we got the approval talking to all the political forces because we do not have majority in deputies. Over the past three years, we have been able to reduce $ 20 billion in unnecessary spending, from cars, cell phones, papers to political posts that have risen from more than 1100 to 700. It is a savings that has to do with putting money where people need it. This year we asked for authorization to borrow to pay contracted debts, not new debts. We cut taxes. There is an effort made by the province and we also ask the municipalities, which received co-participation like never before. It was lost with the soybean fund. But it was won with the suburban fund which is more than the soya fund. Most municipalities will end this year with a surplus. We present a very reasonable budget that I think will leave speaking to all sectors.

Over the years, there has been a better relationship with Massa and his strength than Macri has at the national level. Is Massa reliable for the province and not for the nation?

"We did not just talk and agree with Massa. Also with Martín Insaurralde (Citizen Unit, Lomas de Zamora) with Gabriel Katopodis (PJ San Martín), with Juan Pablo de Jesus (UC, Partido de la Costa). Of 135 counties I have good connections with almost all but three or four. In the nation, there was a budget after a very difficult year. Most political leaders, governors, are betting on social peace. There are differences, but that does not mean we can not agree on the basics.

"For you, is not Massa" advantageous, "as Macri called it?

– What do you ask? For me, Sergio is part of the opposition. I do not share your country or province appearance, but I have reached agreements, as well as leaders of the Victory Front. I do not often share what he does and says. And I think he erred in his relationship with the national government. I hope that your bloc will follow this budget because of a liability issue. You can not leave the province without a budget. You have to pay teachers, retirees to support hospitals, social programs …

-This year there were 29 days of unemployment, which is a historical record, and the board was not closed …

"It's not a conflict we're looking for and we want to solve it. We'll call the guilds again before the end of the year. I find it difficult to understand when there are standstills against the IMF, in solidarity with Moyano or with other corporations, when in fact this means that millions of children do not have classes. In the last decade, the province has had more than 120 days of unemployment. And the boys have not learned more, nor are the teachers better. This is not the way.

-A few accuse her of not working harder with teachers and public health because the majority of Cambiemos electors do not use the school or public hospitals.

"I'm angry they say that. I rule for everyone. There are 10 million residents of Buenos Aires who now have an ambulance and before they could die without anyone arriving, half of the hospitals have new emergency rooms, 80 new appointments and will be more than 200 in 2019. Today there are 450 thousand adults they are finishing primary and secondary, and when I arrived there were 150,000. Health and education today in the province are not a speech are concrete facts.

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