Fernández re-Elected

25 Oct

Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner was re-elected President of Argentina in a resounding, if unsurprising, victory on Sunday. With little in the way of serious opposition, Fernandez attracted 54% of the popular vote.

The British Foreign Office was quick to extend its congratulations but, when pressed by reporters, added that the Falklands remained an issue over which there could be no negotiation unless, and until, the Islanders wished it.

Surprisingly the President’s election campaign hardly raised the issue of Argentina’s outstanding claim to the Falklands, even though the Islands’ sovereignty is perhaps the only issue that can unite Argentines. Fernandez had restated the claim in early October when she made her annual speech to the United Nations, and her Defence Minister had made some wild claims about the Islanders being held captive by British forces, but otherwise there was very little mention of the subject.

Recent comments about the British stealing Argentine fish, made by Argentina’s permanent representative to the United Nations, went largely unreported in the spanish press.

It is too soon to speculate whether this indicates a change of policy over the Islands, particularly as there have been recent complaints of harassment by Spanish fishermen, who complain that Argentina is threatening to fine them for fishing in Falklands waters. There is also the threat to the weekly LanChile flight that Fernández made in her speech to the UN.

Once the dust has settled, it’ll probably be ‘business as usual’.


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