President delivers State of Nation Speech
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) opened the 132nd session of Congress on Saturday in the first major speech she has delivered since undertaking major surgery last year.
The speech is widely described as less combative and more conciliatory than the old CFK. Apart from comments about Iran and Venezuela the president concentrated the bulk of her speech on domestic issues. Much of the speech was a review of the achievements of her government as well as a defence of her government’s approach to the economy.
In particular she tried to demonstrate that government taking over companies such as YPF from Repsol was part of a strategic effort to take control of energy security. But she also touched on other areas where government had taken control and had improved the productivity of those areas, such as agriculture infrastructure.
The president was critical of teachers and the ongoing industrial action over changes to their contracts, but overall the speech appears to have been the comments of a president who knows that her days in office are numbered and who wants to go out with reputation intact.
Buenos Aires Herald has an excellent report which you can read here.
The Buenos Aires Herald Editorial on the speech can be found here.
You can read the Casa Rosada (Office of the President) press release of the president’s speech (in Spanish) here.