translated from Spanish: Alberto Fernandez: «Now we feel very accompanied by the great European powers»

In the context of the return to the country in a day that will have it holding meetings from Quinta de Olivos, the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, took stock of his tour of the European continent started on January 31in Vatican City . In dialogue with Télam from the Regina hotel in Paris, the representative expressed confidence that the IMF will consider the support that both German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, the head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, and the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte toasted Argentina.In this line it is that Fernandez’s arrival also made clear his priorities in regional terms, something that is at the end of the idea of «change» inherited from the previous administration. 

Alberto Fernández with his Spanish pair, Pedro Sánchez

T: What balance does the tour take? What expectations did I have before I started it? AF: It seems to me that it went the way we wanted it to go. We at some point feel the need for two things. On the one hand, to ask Europe that it is important for us, and secondly to ask what is wrong with us, and to ask them for their help. Europe is a huge continent. All of us, many of us, descend from the inhabitants of this continent, and fundamentally they are the great investors that Argentina has. I’m very happy. T: Is the agreement with the IMF closer today with these supports?AF: The Fund must see that the world is warning of what we are raising. So it seems to me that the Fund, which has a very capable executive director in Kristalina Georgieva, must surely be seeing what is happening in Europe, and how Europe wants to attend to what Argentina offers as a solution. I believe that there is always an instance of dialogue and negotiation, and it seems to me that today we are more accompanied than before. A week ago we felt a little more alone and now we feel very accompanied by the great European powers. T: Since you mentioned Georgieva…did you exchange any messages within the framework of this tour?AF: No. I know he had a long meeting with (the Economy Minister) Martin (Guzmán), which was very positive. I feel that the important thing is that we start telling the world what happened to us, what happens to us and where we want to go. And it’s very, very healthy for us to know that the world is understanding us.» T: Venezuela was a recurring question for European leaders. You said that we must return to Contadora – a multilateral initiative that promoted peace in Central America in the 1980s – which in the case of Latin America is a historical example. How does it become today? AF: I have the impression that Europe is seeing Argentina as a country that may have the ability to amalgamate conflict situations normally. In other words, helping normality not break in Latin America.

Alberto Fernandez with German entrepreneurs

T: Did European leaders ask for anything? Our democracy is not in question of any kind. Argentina is a culturally important country on the continent and they feel we can do something. I also feel that if with another President of Latin America, who has a thought very similar to mine, which is Andrés Manuel López Obrador, we start working together to find a solution to the Venezuela theme, we can help out there. We can foster the dialogue we are so looking for. It’s not solving the problem for Venezuelans: it’s that Venezuelans sit down to argue. That’s all I want. T: Do you feel that this tour helped dispel doubts about Argentina’s isolation? AF: Yes. I feel that it helped some who from here in Europe believed that we had a different vocation. To dispel those doubts, it helped a lot. I think he also (helped) many who from the inside believed that we were coming to marginalize us from the world, must be finding out how much they simply lied to him. T: Did the success of this tour take away the last bastion that Mauricio Macri had?AF: Macri’s? I confess that when you hear European leaders speak how they felt let down by Macri, you realize that you have nothing to do with success. Lying to the world is not a good way to do politics.

Angela Merkel with President Alberto Fernandez

T: Paradoxically, the one who brings Argentina back into the world is usted.AF: I don’t believe one thing or the other. The world today is a great village and one has to be bound to the world unfailingly. But international politics is not taking pictures: it is taking very deep commitments and on this tour we did it. We did this with the Pope, with the Italian authorities, with Pedro (Sánchez), when we talked about the need to link South America more to Europe, we did it with Merkel not only talking about the EU, but German investment alternatives in Argentina. And we did it with Macron, talking about the environment, women’s issues, a lot of things going on in the future. T: In Berlin and Paris he met with entrepreneurs and in those contacts there was talk of the need to lift the trap, which prevents them from turning profits to the exterior.AF: It is a problem that we have and we have to look for mechanisms to solve them, to encourage the investment to come to Argentina. It is a problem that we do not generate, that we have been left and that must be solved. In this note:

Original source in Spanish

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