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Argentina's Uncertain Future

Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011

As Argentines enjoy the final summer before electing a new leader later this year, uncertainty surrounds the direction of the country's domestic and international policies. High levels of inflation, social unrest, growing insecurity, a dissatisfied and powerful agricultural sector, a continued spat with the U.K. over the Falkland Islands and accusations of being a haven for laundering drug money are but a few of the challenges the next Argentine leader will face.

Four years ago, on the eve of presidential elections in 2007, much of this uncertainty did not exist or had not yet become apparent. At the time, the question was not who would win the election, but rather which Kirchner would subsequently rule: outgoing President Nestor Kirchner or his trusted political adviser and wife Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who was poised to win the office. High global commodity prices and a refusal to pay close to $100 billion in debts to international creditors had helped Nestor stabilize the Argentine economy and consolidate political control to pave the way for his wife's election to the presidency. ...

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