Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

CFK invites Italian businesses to invest in Argentina; announces “new phase in relations”

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on June 3, 2011

by Merco Press News, June 2nd, 2011.

Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner invited Italian business-people to invest in Argentina underlining the close links between the two countries and the fact her visit was the re-launching of normal relations after a decade. 

“Come to Argentina, get to know us”, she told the businessmen. “You will find that it’s a good place to live and invest in,” she added highlighting the country’s recent economic growth.

Earlier in the day the Argentine president met with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi a the Chigi Palace in Rome in the framework of her visit to Italy to try and re-establish a “new phase” in bilateral relations following the 2001/2002 default that left 400.000 Italian pensioners with their live savings invested in Argentine sovereign bonds, lost or considerably diminished.

According to Argentine sources PM Berlusconi in private said the bond holders issue can be considered over and “today is only a residual problem”. Apparently Berlusconi admitted that when Argentina launched the debt exchange package in 2005, he stood behind bond holders and Italian banks, “because of flag reasons”, but it was time “to consider the conflict over”.

This was interpreted by Argentine diplomats as a green light for the start of a reconciliation period and the re-launching of bilateral relations which have been virtually frozen since the Argentine massive 2002 default. The two countries have clashed several times since 2002 in spite of the fact Argentina is the country with the largest percentage of Italian descendants in Latin America. (continue reading… )

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