Kirchner rating plummets
A recent opinion poll conducted by Management & Fit reports a significant drop in support for President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner since her re-election in October 2011.
The poll, which is widely reported in Latin American newspapers, shows that people with a positive image of her has dropped from 64.1% last September to 38.1% today. Meanwhile those with a negative image of her have risen from 18.2% to 34.2%.
Cristina Kirchner’s government also does badly in the poll. Approval of her government has fallen from 64.1% in September last year to 42.1% today, whilst those who disapprove of the government has increased from 29.4% to 50.4%.
Much of the disapproval appears to be centred on the economy. The poll reports that 58.8% of those interviewed expect the economy to get worse this year and 59.8% disapprove of the recent clampdown on the use of US dollars. Farmers have just ended a strike but are threatening more and over the weekend many middle class protesters demonstrated in the capital and other large cities banging pots and pans in protests reminiscent of those in 2001 and 2008 when the government was equally unpopular.
A bill about to go to Congress is likely to add to the controversy as it would appear to allow contracts that were negotiated in US dollars to be paid in pesos. The government itself has had to issue a press release saying that it will pay an upcoming $2.2 billion bond payment in US dollars.
Recent tariff controls have also been tightened which has affected a wide range of Argentinian businesses and made the country less attractive to investors.