Outgoing Argentine president slams new administration in final address to country

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Tens of thousands of supporters jammed Argentina's most famous square Wednesday night to say goodbye to President Cristina Fernandez, who lauded her government's achievements while blasting the incoming administration in the same withering tones she aimed at opponents throughout her eight years in office.

See Full Article

As blue and white Argentine flags waved and people cheered on a balmy night, Fernandez gave a speech that was both a recap of her years in power and a clear sign that she does not plan to make things easy for President-elect Mauricio Macri, who will be inaugurated Thursday.

Fernandez addressed the crowd on Plaza de Mayo in downtown Buenos Aires amid widespread criticism for her decision not to attend Macri's inauguration.

The two spent much of the last 10 days bickering over where the presidential baton and sash would be handed over. Macri wanted to receive them at the Casa Rosada presidential offices from Fernandez, while she insisted the handover happen in Congress. Many Argentines viewed the argument as a national embarrassment.

Without mentioning him by name, Fernandez framed the tiff as Macri's fault. She also criticized a Wednesday federal court ruling in a case brought by Macri that determined her presidency ended at midnight, saying it would leave Argentina without a president until Macri's swearing-in at midday Thursday.

"I can't talk much because after midnight I'll turn into a pumpkin," she joked.

Fernandez talked about "an agenda from the outside being imposed on the region," apparently referring to the United States and others she sees as enemies of Argentina. During her two terms in power, Fernandez frequently accused other countries of meddling in this South American nation's affairs, though rarely provided details.

For 12 years, Fernandez, and before her, late husband and predecessor, Nestor Kirchner, dominated the political landscape. The couple rewrote the country's social contract, spending heavily on social programs for the poor while passing liberalizing laws, such as legalizing gay marriage in 2010.

They also aligned Argentina with socialist leaders like the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Bolivian President Evo Morales, who attended Fernandez's farewell speech.

"She made me proud to be Argentine for the first time in my life," said onlooker Pablo Vega. "She defended the interests of the country more than anybody."

Macri, who ran on free-market ideas, beat Fernandez's chosen successor by 3 percentage points in a runoff election last month. The close result underscored the deep polarization in Argentina, and Fernandez has made clear she will continue to be heard, albeit from the sidelines of power.

The 62-year-old, who was barred by the constitution from seeking a third consecutive term, leaves office with approval ratings around 40 per cent, and some have speculated she might try to run again in 2019.

However, just as many Argentines love her, many also loathe her, and the fight over the presidential transition brought out the frustration of detractors.

By Wednesday afternoon, her decision not to attend the inauguration had spawned a trending Twitter hashtag: #CFKVerguenzaMundial, or Fernandez's world shame.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Tim Kaine sees working with GOP as key to post-election healing

    World News CTV News
    BOSTON -- Tim Kaine is sounding a hopeful note that a Democratic White House could work with Republicans to bridge deep divides laid bare by this bitter presidential campaign. The vice-presidential candidate told The Associated Press on Saturday that he and Hillary Clinton have already spoken about how to heal the nation if they should win. Source
  • 'We are not being invaded,' Toronto police tweet during military exercise

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto police had an important message Saturday for anyone who spotted military activity down by the city’s waterfront: “We are not being invaded.” Canadian soldiers and army combat engineers conducted assault boat landing exercises on Toronto’s western beaches, including Sunnyside Park, Sir Casimir Gzowski Park and Hanlan’s Point Beach on the Toronto Islands. Source
  • Hockey fans flock to watch Hall of Fame players at Heritage Classic

    Canada News CBC News
    People are preparing to see the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, take the ice at the Heritage Classic Alumni game in Winnipeg Saturday. It's also a flashback to a fierce rivalry between two NHL teams — the Winnipeg Jets and the Edmonton Oilers — going back to the 1970s. Source
  • Hockey fans flock to watch Hall of Fame players at Heritage Classic Alumni game

    Canada News CBC News
    People are preparing to see the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, take the ice at the Heritage Classic Alumni game in Winnipeg Saturday. It's also a flashback to a fierce rivalry between two NHL teams — the Winnipeg Jets and the Edmonton Oilers — going back to the 1970s. Source
  • Mom of boy who died from wrong medication calls for mandatory error-tracking

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- An Ontario mother is calling for better tracking of errors made by pharmacies after her son died from what she called a devastating "careless mistake." Melissa Sheldrick's eight-year-old son Andrew was diagnosed with a sleep disorder called parasomnia and began taking medication for the problem in October 2013. Source
  • Iraqi leader resists U.S. push for Turkish role in Mosul fight

    World News CTV News
    BAGHDAD -- U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter's push for Iraq to let Turkey play a role in the Mosul battle encountered resistance Saturday from Iraq's prime minister, who said his country's forces will oust Islamic State the militants from the northern city. Source
  • N.S. man handed prison time for animal cruelty, a first in the province: SPCA

    Canada News CTV News
    A man who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty has been sentenced to prison time in what the SPCA is calling a first for the province. Michael Cairns, of Lower Sackville, was sentenced to 30 days in the Nova Scotia Correctional Facility on Thursday. Source
  • Get used to 'job churn,' Finance Minister Morneau tells Liberal meeting

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Finance Minister Bill Morneau says Canadians should get used to so-called “job churn” — short-term employment and a number of career changes in a person’s life. Morneau made the proclamation today — days before his economic update — at the Ontario Liberal party’s general meeting. Source
  • Trudeau Liberals set to join Wynne Liberals in helping rich people buy electric cars

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    What is it with our governments and public subsidies for electric vehicles? Federal Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna told The Canadian Press this month the Trudeau government is working on “creating incentives” for Canadians to buy electric vehicles. Source
  • Trump vows to sue 'every one' of his female accusers

    World News Toronto Sun
    GETTYSBURG, Pa. — Donald Trump on Saturday pledged post-election lawsuits against every woman who has accused him of sexual assault or other inappropriate behaviour, and he charged Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party with orchestrating the allegations. Source