The polarization scenario between the ruling party and the opposition planned for the 2023 presidential elections one year ahead.
On several occasions to describe different episodes of tension between the City and the Nation, it was said that Horacio Rodríguez Larreta had been received as a presidential candidate or that he had launched into the Casa Rosada. But in fact, Never has the level of confrontation between the President and the Head of the Buenos Aires government gone so far.
Indeed, the toughest sector of Juntos por el Cambio repeatedly questioned the “lukewarmness” of the Buenos Aires mayor in his position against the Kirchner government.
The abrupt outcome of a political relationship that in its beginnings excited those who travel “the wide avenue of the middle” – far from ultra Kirchnerism and anti-Kirchnerism – but which later faded, occurred in a matter of days.
It was after Alberto Fernández confessed that he had not consulted Rodríguez Larreta – yes, Governor Axel Kicillof – to define the suspension of face-to-face classes and more restrictions due to infections. Larreta picked up the glove, and crossed it: “A way of working was broken, it is unintelligible that the President does not dialogue”. And I challenge the president to meet face to face.
A day later, on Thursday, on the occasion of the meeting between the two in Olivos, when the meeting had not ended, the President had already arranged a press conference for him alone. He knew in advance that he would not yield one iota to the proposals of the PRO leader. Neither Kicillof nor Cristina would allow it. He said that his former “friend” had been “unfair”, “ungrateful” and had told “lies”. Larreta was not far behind and, for the second time and second day, crossed it again in another conference. And there he made it clear that he would do “everything possible” so that there were classes this Monday. And he got it.
“The Justice decided that in the City, within the framework of autonomy, the presence of the classes should be maintained”, affirmed the Buenosairean head of government on Sunday night. At the third press conference in four days. What marks the intensity of the dispute.
Horacio Rodriguez Larreta in one of the three press conferences of the last four days. Photo Maxi Failla
The Buenos Aires government I was waiting for this weekend and in record time the ruling of the Buenos Aires Chamber of Appeals enabling face-to-face classes. Larreta would cling to that judicial decision as a legal justification. On paper, it had been a political move in the best Peronist style.
This means neither more nor less that the political dispute was focused on Alberto Fernández vs. Horacio Rodríguez Larreta. But we must not forget that behind them are Cristina Kirchner and Mauricio Macri.
On the other hand, the Justice, especially the Supreme Court, is sitting in the front row, ready to become the arbitrator of a dispute for billions of pesos but, in essence, politics. The Court has yet to decide on the cut of funds that the Nation decided on the City.
With today’s episode, a stage is extinguished.
Just two days after that December 10, 2019, of the inauguration of Alberto Fernández in the Presidency, his vice, Cristina Kirchner, began the offensive against whom he considered “the enemy to defeat.”
With the phrase “in Capital even the ferns have electricity and water”Cristina made it clear that the objectives of La Cámpora and the Government should be to wear down those who are emerging as the main competitor in 2023. And so it was.
The photo between Fernández and Larreta provoked anger at the Instituto Patria. But then the correction would come. In the midst of the pandemic and communicating it to him for five minutes through Cristina’s political godson, Eduardo Wado de Pedro, the government informed the head of the Buenos Aires government of the first withdrawal of the coparticipating funds. Then a second would come, when he approved the law that established a fixed sum for the Nation for the City to support Buenos Aires Security. Total, $ 65 billion annually.
The President’s “friend” relationship with “Horacio” deteriorated. It was never the same again. Larreta would no longer attend the Casa Rosada regularly to exchange gestures and smiles with Wado de Pedro or Martín Guzmán. He sent his collaborators and attended the few invitations that the Presidency extended to him for strict work meetings with Alberto. Nothing more.
The restrictions, the permanent criticisms of the Buenos Aires administration emanating from Kicillof, Daniel Gollán and company, the face-to-face classes, acted as a trigger for a link only sustained by the need for both jurisdictions to interact.
Given the fait accompli, it is likely that Larreta’s with Alberto was one of the few bridges left to agree on something, between the Front of All and Together for Change.
Does a series of jurisdictional conflicts between the Nation and the City begin today? Depends. If it helps Cristina Kirchner to start a political battle against Larreta, she will do so without hesitation. But if on the contrary it is repeated “the Daniel Scioli effect” -Every time Kirchnerism attacked the former Buenos Aires governor, he grew in his image- Kirchnerism will have to redesign its strategy. Although it does not usually have many resources, outside the confrontation.
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