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Read your comments Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 08:17 GMT 09:17 UK
You've been Tango'd - comments
Police horses charge

Argentina - You've been Tango'd. Thank you for sending us your comments. They will be posted here and updated throughout the week.


My heart goes out to those in Argentina. It only shows me that it's important to always have a back up plan.
Akua Hinds, Canada

I thought that the programme brought about good awareness of what was happening in Argentina, and I feel for the middle class people who have lost money. However, the programme did focus more on the bank HSBC than it did on any others, was it just HSBC or were others involved?
Faye, England

It is very important to be moved by what we see but apart from feeling anger we sometimes do not know how to act. Several comments in this page asked for what can be done. We invite all the people that care about Argentina to contact us. The Argentine Solidarity Campaign was set up in January 2002 in London by British and Argentine nationals. Our aim is to build solidarity with the people of Argentina. We share your feelings of despair and exasperation about what is happening and we want to help from here, UK
Argentine Solidarity Campaign, UK

At no point have the Argentine people looked to the military to get them out of the crisis - something they have frequently done in the past. This sign of political maturity is one ray of light in an otherwise dark period.
Lyn Jacomb, Belgium


It perfectly captured the desperation of the people there

Seamus Murphy-Mitchell
This country is corrupted to the bone. "The Fence" was designed to save foreign banks at the cost of our hungry and angry. I have read the page but not seen the video. I wish you have a keener way of presenting a problem that involves much more than a middle class claim - involving the surviving of a country maybe? Thanks to my UK friend who sent this page to me.
Marķa Vieyra, Argentina

Like some others, I was very disappointed by the 'technical quality' of the programme - i.e. the frivolity of imitating old newsreel-styles, the focus on middle classes no longer able to enjoy champagne and holidays in Cancun when some 50% of the population is officially recorded to be living below the breadline. This is a serious situation, not a place for the culture of game-shows and 'reality TV'; what happened to Reithian values?
Mark Stables, UK

I thought the You've Been Tango'd programme was excellent. Having lived in Argentina, it perfectly captured the desperation of the people there. A benchmark for good television.
Seamus Murphy-Mitchell, Ireland

Appalled at the manner in which programme was presented on Sunday 13 Oct. It was a distorted view of the reality of victims of the 'corralito'. Shameful, distasteful, ignorance and lack of sensitivity. I can provide advice and put you in contact with experts and Argentines suffering the crisis in a portrayal more akin to reality and quality of report.
G. M. Hilton BA (Hons.), UK


Like so many nice people they have been let down by politics and corruption

Vijay Parbat
I watched the programme on Sunday. This message goes to the man who said that he was ashamed to be Argentinean - I have been to Argentina and I was received with warmth wherever I went. The country and its people are wonderful. Like so many nice people they have been let down by politics and corruption which are nothing to do with being Argentinean.
Vijay Parbat, UK

If it is theft under international law then maybe other people should apply for an HSBC loan or credit card, pay the debt of one Argentinean and then refuse to repay HSBC on the grounds that the original debt is now repaid. Come on someone with influence or institution try it.
Chris Bailey, UK


The part where you mentioned the barter club was so disrespectful

Magdalena
I was absolutely disappointed and upset with the BBC when I saw this programme. If this corporation is supposed to behave professionally, I don't think this is a good example at all. The part where you mentioned the barter club was so disrespectful. I couldn't believe my eyes! It was in the tone of comedy - as if the situation was funny. I think such a critical political/economical and social situation should be treated with more respect and professionalism.
Magdalena, UK/Argentina

Rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. That is modern capitalism! Greedy American bankers and American government IMF,WB, and greedy Argentine politicians are to blame. It is time for the rest of the world to fight back this form of economical terrorism on ordinary people!!!
Richard, England

Argentina is becoming increasingly reliant on tourism. The devalued Peso is making tourism in this beautiful, but previously expensive country, all the more possible for Europeans. Nothing in your program went any way to encourage people to go to Argentina. In fact it did the reverse. Tucuman, a beautiful province, was made to look like a huge dustbowl. Buenos Aires is still an utterly stunning (and relatively safe) city, yet the photos I saw of it were mainly black and white, implying that all elegance had disappeared. Not true. I know many Argentines who whilst thankful for the coverage, were appalled by the content and its presentation. I am inclined to agree with them.
Tom, UK


At all times, HSBC has acted in accordance with Argentinian law and we continue to do so

HSBC, UK
HSBC was alarmed by the BBC's programme "You've been Tango'd" about Argentina. The economic and political situation there is complex and worrying, and deserves sensible, careful analysis and reporting. In our view the BBC's treatment was seriously unbalanced. Our businesses in Argentina operate via distinct, locally incorporated, legal entities. At all times, HSBC has acted in accordance with Argentinian law and we continue to do so. It should be clearly understood that customer deposits in Argentina were, and continue to be, frozen ("the coralito") by the government, not by HSBC. We have the deepest sympathy for the plight of our customers and staff in Argentina, and for the Argentine people generally. Despite the bank's considerable losses in the country, we are continuing to assist the Argentine authorities in their efforts to find ways to restructure the financial system for the benefit of Argentina, our customers and our shareholders.
HSBC, UK

HSBC was asked for an on camera interview for the film - but the bank declined

I was moved by the plight of those people who placed their trust, in the banking system of such an unstable government. Why can't pressure be put on HSBC bank to make a policy change and make good all the hardship caused? I for one shall be considering closing my accounts with HSBC.
Paul Wells, UK

I watched the programme and thought it to be an extremely accurate reflection of what has happened there, and how it affects ordinary people. I was a Brit working in Argentina and left a year ago. I was however unable to empty my account before the "corralito" moved in - I doubt now I'll ever see more than 10-15% of what the government has taken. That money will be safely tucked away in a multitude of foreign banking centres, and in future-proof Dollars, not the sinking Pesos the Argentine people (and I) have been uncharitably given.
Geoff , UK


If we do not stand up for other peoples' rights, there will be no one to stand up for ours

Rosalie
Good stuff, as usual, but there was a need to explore more the role of the IMF in all this. The country is still rich in natural resources, people haven't forgotten how to grow crops, fish, build houses. Yes there was a fleeting reference to local currencies working quite successfully in the north, so a bit more focus on why local currencies come into existence would have been useful. US economist Randall Wray has said that no country with the authority to create its own currency ever needs to go to the IMF for help.
Kevin Donnelly

I protest - on behalf of these victims - to the HSBC and the IMF, and demand the return of these peoples' savings immediately. If we do not stand up for other peoples' rights, there will be no one to stand up for ours. And we might even lose them if we are not careful. Democracy is a very fragile commodity. Living in a great country like the UK, we need to stand and be counted. HSBC, you have lost a customer.
Rosalie, U.K.

I for one will be changing my bank from HSBC and telling them why. If enough customers did this world-wide they would have to give the money back or face ruin.
David Soussan, UK


We are all a little corrupted...so it's a matter of changing things from the roots

Andrea
Argentineans believe English people are fair and educated; this program broke the myth in pieces, for me. I don't think you can put this program on the air in Argentina and ask people what they think about it. They will say it's a silly and sad joke, misrepresenting reality, facts and people behaviour. The picture you represented was a complete Joke, the people you used were not representative of the average population; looks like they have been paid to behave like clowns.
Alejandro Canonero, UK-Argentina

I want to congratulate each and everyone who produced this report on Argentina, for its objectivity and truthfulness. BBC is, indeed, a reliable media.
Marta Vega, Argentina

I am an Argentine studying in London. I just know I love my country. I just can say that Argentina has all the resources to be a great country. We can't blame only the politicians, they are not aliens, and they are one of us with more power. We are all a little corrupted...so it's a matter of changing things from the roots. The power corrupts and the absolute power absolutely corrupts
Andrea, Argentina


Who says there isn't one law for the rich and another for the poor

Andy Vaughan
Having just viewed this programme I am horrified and will be writing to my bank for an explanation as to why they are behaving in this way, I also intend to write to the IMF to protest at their totally inadequate response; however I believe that the US has more than a hand in this.
Jeff Gardner, UK

If a trade union tries to protect its low paid members and shuts down an industry they are vilified as wreckers, but the banks protect their rich shareholders and destroy a country, Hey - no problem. Who says there isn't one law for the rich and another for the poor!
Andy Vaughan, UK

Your programme seems to have singled out HSBC for particular criticism. Was it worse than any other foreign banks operating in Argentina? I do not bank with HSBC and the only time I have been in touch with it was in connection with a trust which it manages and of which I am a beneficiary. I found the bank to be as uncommunicative with me then as it was in the programme with you.
Tom Morris, UK


Argentina is now ripe for a despot to arise and rescue the economy with the loss of much freedom and maybe lives

George Mealor
Once again the politicians have destroyed the middle class to buy votes from the poor. Argentina is now ripe for a despot to arise and rescue the economy with the loss of much freedom and maybe lives.
George Mealor, USA

Where are the brave souls of the IMF whose charter supposedly is geared to safeguard against this very type of calamity?
Manuel Campo, Spain


Greed always seems to take over in these situations, corporate America is no better and potential will be far worse

Neil Metcalfe
Another glaring example of the detriment that the spread of capitalism fosters.
Jason Lentz, USA

Greed always seems to take over in these situations, corporate America is no better and potential will be far worse, only time will tell. It is time political differences were put aside and the people must save themselves, surely Argentina must have a brave untainted Champion who will guide them out of this ridiculous situation. Time to tell the truth and win back support that is so badly needed. Viva Sasovsky.
Neil Metcalfe, UK/Argentina

It is day light robbery and no one is saying anything. What is the world coming to.
Imran, USA

Argentines have always voted for provincial government which promised to waste cash on civil service bureaucracy, instead of letting it be invested it in hard-currency industries like tourism and food exports. Until these provinces stop wasting voters' cash, national reconstruction cannot begin.
Paul Stanyer, UK


At the beginning of the 20th century, it [Argentina] was among the top ten richest countries in the world

Graeme Phillips
It is unthinkable to those of us living in the industrialized West, that our own funds might be frozen by an act of government or of the banks themselves! Where were they when those many truck-loads of dollars were making their way to the airport last year and then being loaded onto Commercial Airlines in order to remove them from Argentina? Shame on them and on De La Rua. Meanwhile, the people of Argentina are having their spirits crushed by this betrayal. And the rest of the world doesn't seem interested in helping.
Julie Webb, USA

It's such a shame that Argentina is like this now. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was among the top ten richest countries in the world.
Graeme Phillips, UK

Lyndon H. LaRouche, is a physical economist. His "New Bretton Woods" system, which was first established by Franklin D. Roosevelt, seems to be the only system that could work in the situation in Argentina. It is based on the fixed-rate exchange system, which could allow Argentina to pay back the right amount of money, the amount that they initially owed. Why can Argentina not adopt the same system by questioning IMF and World Bank, which seem to be imposing Argentina even now to deal with the international monetary issues, instead of its own national economy?
Motoki Kasai, Japan


The hellish effect of the corralito has been exponentially increased by rising inflation rates

Louis Sparre
I am an American living in Argentina; I would like to add that the hellish effect of the corralito has been exponentially increased by rising inflation rates, which obviously further spin the country into a deep recession. In Buenos Aires capital federal alone there exist 250,000 "cartoneros"- people who live off of picking recyclable materials out of the trash. The IMF is doing little to help, basically forcing the Argentine Government to spend less and less, it worked for Herbert Hoover (sarcasm) why can't it work for Argentina.
Louis Sparre, Argentina / USA

A very vital subject made somewhat difficult to watch not only by the subject matter, but also the annoying editing based seemingly on a French Art film. BUT why was seemingly no effort made to speak to someone senior from HSBC head office, or the IMF. Is the BBC yet again afraid of stepping on toes???
David Hall, England


It's like a bank lending to a hopeless spender who always promises to reform but never does

David Mannion
This is not just about the restoration of some financial order in Argentina, but is also surely about the individual customers of the bank. Regardless of their association with the Argentine economy because of their residency - they are legitimate global customers and are entitled to proper treatment under international banking laws!
Jacqueline, UK

It seems this type of financial crisis recurs in S. America generally and in Argentina particularly. What has happened to the IMF help in the past? It's like a bank lending to a hopeless spender who always promises to reform but never does. Or is the Argentine Govt. actually stealing the money?
David Mannion, UK

You may be trying to remain an impartial observer, but I wish you'd posted details of people at HSBC here in the UK, to whom viewers might write to protest about what's happening in Argentina.
Nicola, UK

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