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
Saturday 30 August 2014
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
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.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...