Falklands hopes for saner approach from new Argentine Government

MAURICIO Macri, ex Buenos Aires mayor from the centre-right opposition party, won the final round of the Argentine presidential election last Sunday.

Mr Macri will succeed Cristina Kirchner Justicialist Party/FPV ending many years of Peronist domination of the government.

In the Falkland Islands Government Legislative Assembly yesterday a number of Members commented on his election. 

MLA Gavin Short said: “I think we all hope that under his leadership we may see a saner approach to life in the southern cone in general and relations between our two countries in particular.”

He cautioned however, “unless and until whatever Argentine government admit to their people that they have been lying to them for many, many years regarding their supposed claim over the Falkland Islands, even if an Argentine government was the most reasonable in the world... their intentions remain the same, and that is to take our country away from us. So let’s not get too starry eyed.”

MLA Jan Cheek said: “It will be interesting to see what develops in the coming months afer the change in government in Argentina. As always I think we stand ready to conduct a good neighbourly relationship with all our South American neighbours if they reciprocate that sentiment.”
The President Elect pledged his main objectives were to reach zero poverty, combat the narcotics trade and insecurity and give Argentines, a land of entrepreneurs, a chance to build.

He also said: “To our brothers from the region and the world: we want to have good relations with all countries, we want to work with all countries on a cooperation agenda.”

Mid week he announced the country’s foreign minister will be Susana Malcorra currently Head of the Cabinet of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. She will replace Hector Timmerman, notorious in the Falklads for stating there was“no such thing as a Falkland Islander.

Mr Macri has made it clear he is committed to the principle of Argentine sovereignty over the Falkland Islands  but while Mrs Kirchner accused Britain of "militarising" the South Atlantic, and called David Cameron "ill-mannered", Mr Macri's team has spoken of "broadening" the "important" relationship with Britain.

Mr Macri said little to nothing about the Falkland Islands during the election campaign, but at the time his opponents seized on comments he made  in 1997: “I never quite understood the sovereignty claims of such a big country as ours. We don't have a space problem. Malvinas will become an additional deficit for the country's accounts."

Unlike Mrs Kirchner he has declared no intention of having a Minister dedicated to the issue of the Falkland Islands.