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article imageArgentina: Minister of Economy can't explain country's inflation

By Igor I. Solar     Apr 26, 2013 in Politics
Buenos Aires - Hernán Lorenzino, Minister of Economy in the government of Cristina Fernández, interrupted an interview with Greek Skai TV after he couldn’t come up with a coherent explanation about inflation in Argentina.
The program, which was broadcast in Greece, began showing a report on the country's economy, where minister Lorenzino indicated that the model of government of President Cristina Fernández is based on "socially inclusive development".
Greek reporter Eleni Varvitsiotis then asked Lorenzino: "What is Argentina's inflation right now?"
The minister hesitated, doubted for a moment, and became visibly uncomfortable, but attempted to come up with a statement that did not answer the question, but tried to explain how inflation is measured in Argentina. "Official inflation statistics are recorded month after month in Argentine… and inflation is what it is…which is the only inflation possible…it is the only... it's the only way ... the only public agency in charge and able to measure inflation is the National Institute of Statistics and Census under the Ministry of Economy ", said Lorenzino.
"But how much is in this moment?” insisted the journalist.
"I think the accumulated inflation in the past 12 months is...10.2 perhaps… I may be wrong in a decimal…" he hesitantly replied.
"The International Monetary Fund said in December it will impose sanctions on the country because of the flawed statistics that Argentina reports, what will you do about it?", asked the Greek reporter.
The Minister again hesitated and tried to answer: “Well, it depends…I don't know...I don't know... let me see… I'll repeat to you again …I believe…Can I cut this?” he said. He finally concluded: “Me quiero ir” ("I want to leave").
“Talking about inflation statistics in Argentina is a complex thing”, he said after additional hesitation off-camera, and then proceeded to stop the interview.
Hernán Lorenzino earned a Law degree and a Master's degree in public finance at National University of La Plata, Argentina, and he later earned a Master's degree in Economics at Torcuato di Tella University of Buenos Aires; he has been Argentina's Minister of Economy since December 2011. Thus, it could be expected that he knows about the inflation problems in Argentina. His inability to produce a reasonable explanation on the issue has been attributed by Argentina and international media to the fact that most observers believe that Argentina’s inflation is running at about 25 percent, but the Argentine Government authorities had repeatedly declared that it’s not higher than about 10 percent.
According to Buenos Aires Herald, the interview with Mr. Lorenzino took place in December 2012 but the Greek Skai TV channel did not air it until Tuesday April 23.
More about Minister of Economy, Hernan Lorenzino, Argentina, Inflation, Imf
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