Going Nowhere Slowly
With Argentina's provinces and banks withdrawing support, the federal government is running out of options to keep the financial system alive and revive the economy.
President Eduardo Duhalde appears increasingly nervous as
the odds stack up against his shaky government. Each advance in
the struggle to piece together the shattered economy is
followed by a series of reverses. Indeed, it often seems that
the government is only managing to stagger on because nobody
dares take the risk of demanding fresh elections, for fear of
the verdict of the polls. Yet the endgame probably started
toward the end of May, when Felipe Solá, the governor of
Buenos Aires province, said he would refuse to comply with an
earlier agreement with the federal government to cut his budget
deficit by 60% this year, unless Duhalde promised to guarantee
sufficient revenues to meet the province's $2.7 billion
spending plans this year, an intentionally impractical demand.
Buenos Aires is the largest, most populous province in the
country and its governor among the most powerful men in
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