President Fernández takes aim at Argentina’s Supreme Court in speech to Congress 

By March 2, 2023

Buenos Aires, Argentina — Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández took aim at the Supreme Court and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during a speech to Congress to inaugurate this year’s legislative session.

During his speech on Wednesday, which lasted nearly two hours, Fernández also called for more investigation into the September 2022 assassination attempt on Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, lauded economic growth last year amid high inflation, and took shots at the press.

“Six months ago we faced one of the most unfortunate episodes in the last 40 years, as was the assassination attempt on our Vice President of the Nation, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner,” said Fernández and pressured the Judiciary to “act with the same rush as they do when they file the cases in which judges, prosecutors and businessmen appear.” 

This wasn’t his only wink to the Court, he also said, “Unfortunately, [the Court] doesn’t have public confidence, does not work effectively and it does not show its required independence when facing factual and political powers.”

He also criticized the Supreme Court for ruling to reorganize the Council of the Magistrates, the judicial body in charge of appointing and removing judges around the country. 

Read more: What’s happening with Argentina’s Council of Magistrates, and why it matters

“Who is responsible for the malfunction of the Council of the Magistrates for the last year? Who runs over the Republican institutions? I have an answer: the members of the Court,” Fernández said. 

The president has consistently argued that the ruling has put too much power in the hands of the president of the Court to appoint justices. 

Regarding the press, the President said that they “seek to generate discouragement and discomfort,” and criticized that they do not talk about government achievements and “misrepresent” information. 

Fernández with VP Cristina Fernández de Kirchner by his side. Image courtesy of A24.

The Economy 

Speaking on the state of the economy, Fernández stated that the economic growth of 2022 was one of the best in recent years, growing around 5.2% even as the country ended the year with the highest inflation since 1991. 

Read more: Argentina ended 2022 with the highest inflation since 1991

“In 2023, the economy will keep on growing and it will be three consecutive years of growth of our GDP, something that did not happen since 2008,” the president said.

“High inflation is the result of the disorganization of our economy. It’s a structural problem that has been like that for decades and it’s not a simple task,” claimed Fernández. 

“The ones who minimized the problem, ended up worsening it. We do not need the International Monetary Fund to achieve fiscal balance or to know that we must increase exports and generate currencies,” he said, referring to the international debt taken on by the government of former right-wing President Mauricio Macri.

Although it’s true that the local economy has been growing for the past two years, it’s a bit of a rush to say that the country will keep on growing in 2023, especially in an electoral context with an inflation rate that so far seems unstoppable.