Español Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner gave her final State of the Union address to Congress on Sunday, March 1, before she exits in December after eight years in office.
She began her nearly four-hour speech by praising the management of the debt restructuring process and declared Argentina as “the only country in the world that has seen its debt reduced.”
“No longer will an Argentinean government have to take on debt to pay debt,” Kirchner said. “We have finally taken the Argentinean Republic out of debt.” The president went on to attack the so-called vulture funds — holdout bondholders — calling them “internationally known blood suckers.”
Kirchner reviewed the main points of her domestic agenda relying heavily on statistics. She highlighted the “growth of industry” and the approval of 48 new labor laws during the 10-year period that she and her late husband Nestor Kirchner ruled the country.
The president, however, made no mention of the high inflation that afflicts the country, or the ongoing corruption cases involving high-profile members of her cabinet, including the recently indicted Vice President Amado Boudou.
“Some people tried to make us think everything was going badly. We had a great challenge to maintain our public policies given that scenario, but we made it through the crisis,” she said.
Regarding domestic policy, Kircher said she would soon send a bill to Congress to nationalize the management of railroads.
The president also defended the controversial agreements signed with China earlier this year. “They [the critics] can’t be that stupid, so colonized, intellectually inferior, to have such a little brain. Please, how are the Chinese not going to come [to the country]? Why are they so afraid of them?” she questioned.
Amid a fierce confrontation with the judiciary, the president accused judges and prosecutors of forming a “Judicial Party” and ignoring the Constitution. “The Judicial Party has lately parted ways with the Constitution and is trying to substitute both the Executive and Legislative branches, which have been elected by the people,” she claimed.
Kircher also address the 1994 AMIA bombing, once again denying the allegations of a cover-up that have been made against her. “If there are delays in the cover-up investigation into the AMIA case, look somewhere else, not here,” she said, shifting the attention to Israel. “I don’t understand why Israel only demands an investigation into the AMIA bombing and not the  attack of their own embassy.”
In reaction to the president’s speech, opposition Senator Federico Pinedo commented that “several things that were said here are not in agreement with the reality.” According to Senator Luis Juez, the president “lacked humility and self-criticism.”