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Friday, 21 December, 2001, 15:13 GMT
Argentine press warns of dangers ahead
Protesters in centre of Buenos Aires
Argentina: Country in crisis
Newspapers in Argentina have warned that the future is fraught with danger and have called for party politics to be put aside for the sake of national unity.

La Nacion lambasts the country's leaders for their failure "to forge national accords that guaranteed governability and contributed to creating the conditions for the Argentine economy to emerge from the obstinate recession".

Peace at stake

"Fernando De la Rua's resignation as president opens up the first great breach in the continuity of the democratic system since it was restored in 1983.

"With his departure, a bitter and intense chapter in our institutional life has come to an end."

Authority must be restored. The highest values of a society are at stake, those that make social coexistence and peace possible

La Nacion

"The country now has an overriding duty to look to the future," La Nacion continues.

"Due to the complexity and seriousness of the difficulties the nation will have to face... it will be necessary for a wide spectrum of its leadership to work to build consensus and deepen areas of agreement so that the spirit of unity absent until now prevails."

The La Nacion editorial ends with a warning:

"Above all, authority must be restored. The highest values of a society are at stake, those that make social coexistence and peace possible."

Urgency

The mass circulation Clarin also stresses the need for all major parties to work together to rebuild faith in democracy.

"It is essential that the political leadership take into account the urgency of the situation and give up their personal or party aspirations for the sake of the common good and building the future."

It is essential that the political leadership take into account the urgency of the situation and give up their personal or party aspirations for the sake of the common good

Clarin

Clarin argues that many people have become disillusioned with a political and economic system which fails to deliver.

"The future government must deal with the people's most urgent needs, and introduce an economically and socially sustainable programme to balance the public accounts and the external debt problem."

Downward spiral

The English-language Buenos Aires Herald warns that Argentina will face "deep peril" if the new government fails to turn around the economic crisis.

Until the government can come to terms with the reality of default and with the devaluation or dollarization which must surely follow, it is trapped in a downward spiral

Buenos Aires Herald

"Until the government can come to terms with the reality of default and with the devaluation or dollarization which must surely follow, it is trapped in a downward spiral."

Writing in La Razon, Juan Alemann points out that the economic crisis has caused a major crisis in confidence: "Reestablishing this lost confidence will not be easy."

Mr Alemann accuses the former economy minister, Domingo Cavallo, of committing "error after error" and "leaving the economy with problems far more serious than when he took charge".

"The big question is whether his replacement will follow his policy of keeping convertibility (with the dollar) and a zero deficit, or change direction by devaluation, emission and other measures along such lines."

Lottery

The business daily Buenos Aires Economico laments that the current situation is like "a Christmas lottery, which the Peronists won with a ticket they bought with devalued slices of fried banana".

The financial world is aware it is dealing with a country with a clinically dead economy, imposed not by international Marxism, but by the IMF

Buenos Aires Economico

Mr De La Rua had come to power in 1999 "promising changes, only to end up in a Menemism without Menem", the business daily says, referring to former President Carlos Menem, whose term of office generated great controversy.

"The financial world is aware it is dealing with a politically non-existent government and a country with a clinically dead economy, imposed not by international Marxism, but by the IMF, Financial Times and even the least experienced money changer".

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

See also:

21 Dec 01 | Americas
Argentina seeks way out of chaos
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