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Wednesday, 2 January, 2002, 22:48 GMT
Argentine press urges honesty
Argentine President Eduardo Duhalde
Newspapers urged the president not to be self-serving
Leading newspapers in Argentina warn the new leader, Eduardo Duhalde, that time is running out for the country's democracy.

People might just end up handing their freedom and rights over to some 'providential' figure

The widely-read Clarin says the failure to achieve economic stability has led to violence and poverty.

"With this explosive mix of insecurity, hopelessness and alienation regarding the system, people might just end up handing their freedom and rights over to some 'providential' figure promising change."

Clarin says President Eduardo Duhalde will need to forge "a real government of national unity with a viable national programme".


The leading centrist daily La Nacion fears that any attempt to continue with what it describes as "experiments" could end up pushing the country into "the bottomless abyss".

President Duhalde's first priority is the reestablishment of public order, "without which any attempt to resolve the pressing socioeconomic difficulties that are relentlessly pursuing society with such implacable persistence will be frustrated".

La Nacion says the Peronists now have a second opportunity to form a government in as many weeks.


It should proceed "with the humble attitude of those who understand that they lack the legitimacy that only the nation's votes can give them".

La Nacion urges Mr Duhalde to exclude "characters with a sad history" when he names his cabinet and warns against short-sighted and self-serving policies.

"The times we are living through are so crucial that the repetition of personalized ego trips or the commissioning of hasty and inexcusable collective errors will not be tolerated."

The repetition of personalized ego trips will not be tolerated

La Nacion
A commentator in the Pagina 12 newspaper, Horacio Verbitsky, argues that the rich and big business have sent huge amounts of money abroad while ordinary Argentines have had their savings frozen to compensate.

Mr Verbitsky says stability will not return until there is "a more democratic distribution of the country's financial resources".

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:

02 Jan 02 | Americas
Argentina's new president sworn in
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