Argentina may change its capital city from Buenos Aires, says president

President Cristina Kirchner is considering moving Argentina’s capital from Buenos Aires to Santiago del Estero

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced this week she is considering a proposal from Congress to move the Argentina’s capital from Buenos Aires to Santiago del Estero, the country’s oldest city.

“We should start rethinking where to place out federal capital, perhaps more in the centre of the country – and even here, in Santiago del Estero, the Mother of Argentine cities,” she said on a visit to the historic town on Tuesday.

She added: “Sometimes we should start thinking of a new territorial design, because the world has changed.”

The mooted move is unlikely to actually happen. It is widely considered a political stunt by Kirchner, designed to both appease the country’s provinces which have long held animosity towards the European-style city of Buenos Aires, and stave off the manoeuvring of Julián Domínguez, the leader of the lower house of Congress, who is seen to be using the idea as a presidential platform.

Santiago del Estero, located 600 miles north-west of the current capital and home to about 250,000 people, is known for its intense summer heat, and is consequently considered the country’s capital of siestas.

Congress proposes to move the Argentina’s capital from Buenos Aires to Santiago del Estero Congress proposes to move the Argentina’s capital from Buenos Aires to Santiago del Estero  

The move would be seen by many in the country as the fruition of a long-held idea of relocating from the remote Buenos Aires to somewhere in the heart of the country. Mr Dominguez said it would fulfill the dream of José de San Martín, a leader in the independence struggle against Spain.

The current capital is known for its elegant European architecture and culture, but it is from the largely agricultural provinces where most of the country’s wealth derives.

Political analyst Carlos Germano said: “It was a symbolic declaration, nothing more.”

Others have been critical of Kirchner floating the idea, believing such politics as irresponsible at a time of financial crisis. “So, there’s no money to avoid the default, but there is for a Pharaonic transfer of the capital,” economist Jose Luis Espert said on Twitter.

Argentina defaulted on its debt last month, and there have been strikes across the country, including a 36-hour strike in Buenos Aires this week.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence