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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 May, 2003, 03:11 GMT 04:11 UK
New Argentine cabinet revealed
Peter Greste
BBC correspondent in Buenos Aires

Argentina's President-elect Nestor Kirchner has announced his new cabinet six days ahead of his inauguration.

Roberto Lavagna
Lavagna's rescue work on the economy has been recognised
The list includes the existing Economy Minister, Roberto Lavagna, who retains his post in recognition of his role in stabilising the national accounts.

In the words of one local newspaper commentator, the new cabinet is both homogeneous and pluralist.

That is, it is a collection of like-minded figures but with relatively diverse backgrounds.

"It's time for our leaders, regardless of who they are, to support and help us."

Pepin, 59, street vendor


Four of the 12 ministers come from the outgoing government including the most prominent figure, Roberto Lavagna.

That is no surprise.

Throughout the election campaign, Nestor Kirchner promised to keep him on and continue with the policies widely credited with breaking last year's economic free fall.

New foreign minister

Four other ministers are tested administrators from Mr Kirchner's own government in the province of Santa Cruz, among them his own sister Alicia, who takes on the social affairs portfolio.

Alicia Kirchner
Alicia Kirchner: Family appointments are not unknown in Argentina
Appointing a family member to a high post is nothing unusual in Argentina and it is not likely to cause too much controversy.

And the final four cabinet members are all respected outsiders.

The most prominent of those is Rafael Bielsa, a well-known constitutionalist and a brother of the national football coach.

He becomes foreign minister.

It is still too early to say how this list will be received here, but one political analyst, Horatio Borovitsky, said "at least there are no monsters" and in Argentina that is quite a positive step forward.


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