Argentina. In the congressional election on October 27, the government coalition Segerfronten (FPV) retained its position as a majority party in both chambers of Congress. In the Senate they lost three seats but were still the largest group, and in the House of Representatives they got three new seats. As a result, the FPV failed to gain a two-thirds majority that the coalition sought to change the constitution and allow President Cristina Kirchner to be re-elected a second time.
According to Countryaah, FPV won the most votes in twelve of the country’s provinces, ie. half of all the provinces. On the other hand, the opposition won in five of the most important electoral districts, such as Buenos Aires, Santa Fé, Córdoba and Mendoza. Former Peronist Sergio Massa’s new party The renewal front received just over 12% of the vote in the entire country but won 44% of the vote in Buenos Aires, which was more than 10% more than the FPV.
Two events made their mark on the final phase of the election campaign. On October 5, it was announced that President Kirchner would undergo an operation and be away from politics for a month. The deeply unpopular Vice President Amado Boudou took over. Kirchner suffered from health problems even before taking office as president and speculation about whether she will be able to fulfill her term of office until 2015 started.
The election campaign was temporarily suspended on August 6 when a gas explosion in the city of Rosario killed ten people and injured another 60. President Kirchner immediately announced two days of national grief following the tragedy.
A Truth Commission was appointed at the beginning of the year to investigate the background of the bombing attack on a Jewish association in 1994, when 85 people died. On May 29, the Special Investigator claimed that Iran, either directly or through the Hezbollah movement, was behind the attack, whereby relations between the countries deteriorated significantly.
Great attention was drawn to the March 13 election by 76-year-old Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to a new pope named Francis. Bergoglio is a pronounced Peronist but still had strained relationships with the party during his time as bishop of Buenos Aires.
Argentina – Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, on the southern shore of Río de la Plata; 13. 1 million residents (2010), with suburbs 14. 6 million residents. Buenos Aires, one of the continent’s largest cities, is located in the province of the same name, the country’s most populous (15. 4 million residents, 2010). The principal place of the province since 1882 is La Plata, which took over the administration since Buenos Aires in 1880 became Argentina’s capital. Buenos Aires is a federal district surrounded by 22 suburbs. Of Buenos Aires many neighborhoods can be mentioned San Telmo in the city center, La Boca (Italian language) and San Isidro (sports and recreation facilities).
During colonial times, architecture in Buenos Aires, as well as in Argentina in general, was strongly influenced by European building art. In a French-influenced Baroque style, the government building was built in 1874 after drawings by Enrique (Henrik) Åberg. Modern Argentine architecture follows international modernism and postmodernism and is primarily concentrated in Buenos Aires. Notable buildings include Banco de Londres and America del sur (1960–66) by Le Corbusier disciple Clorindo Testa, and the new TV house (1978–79).
Buenos Aires is the center of a growing administration and the country’s premier trade and industrial center as well as a hub in the communications network. Most of Argentina’s industry is around Buenos Aires. The food industry is still the most important industry branch, with large slaughterhouses and freezer and canning factories for meat and fish, but varied industries have gradually gained importance. Significant products include textiles, metals, paper, leather goods, rubber, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, machinery and cars. Industrial growth now takes place mainly in the suburbs and in the surrounding province, while the actual city is increasingly dominated by the service industries.
One third of the country’s total boat freight, and half of the international, is via the port of Buenos Aires. The port is constantly threatened with sludge again by sediment which, via Río de la Plata, comes from overworked areas around the Bermejo River 1,800 km upstream. Dredging must be ongoing.
Buenos Aires was founded in 1536 by the Spanish Pedro de Mendoza under the name Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Aire (‘Our Lady the Holy Mary of the Good Breeze’), abandoned as early as 1541, but founded anew in 1580 by Juan de Garay. However, its development went very slowly during the 17th century. In the 18th century, its transformation into an important port city began. In 1776, Buenos Aires was elevated to the capital of the newly formed Viceroy Río de la Plata and had more than 50,000 residents at the beginning of the 19th century. On May 25, 1810, the fight for the liberation of the Viceroy from Spanish supremacy began in Buenos Aires.
Until 1880, Buenos Aires was involved in various armed conflicts over the city’s position in Argentina. They were solved by the Buenos Aires being made the capital of Argentina in 1880 and converted into a separate federal district. By then, Buenos Aires was already in the midst of a hectic expansion period. Argentina’s large agricultural exports were the nerve of the city, and a massive immigration from southern Europe fundamentally changed the character of Buenos Aires. Broad avenues were built, and new neighborhoods emerged. In 1914, Buenos Aires had more than 1. 5 million residents. The industry grew rapidly and thus new social conflicts arose, which in the 1910s led to violent unrest.
During the interwar period, impressive skyscrapers were built, and Buenos Aires’ chaotic and rapid growth continued. In the 1960s, the city’s core had stabilized with a population of around 3 million, but expansion in the outer areas continued. Poverty and exclusion in the outer areas has increased strongly in recent years, and even parts of the previously so impressive city center are decaying and slimming.