Argie Judge finds a hurricane to piss into

An Argie judge has found a hurricane to piss into as he orders the seizure of assets of oil drilling companies operating in the Falklands.

An Argentine judge ordered the seizure of assets of oil drilling companies operating in the disputed Falklands Islands on Saturday, as rhetoric heats up before October elections.

Lilian Herraez, a federal judge in Tierra del Fuego, ordered the seizure of $156 million, boats and other property, according to Argentina’s state news agency Telam.

The companies named in the demand were Premier Oil, Falkland Oil and Gas, Rockhopper Exploration, Noble Energy and Edison International Spa.

It was not clear what Argentina would do to enforce the ruling and, as companies generally avoid Argentine territory, it is likely to prove largely symbolic.

They will do precisely nothing, because they can’t. The best they ever managed to do against the Poms was run Top Gear out of?the country. ?

Meanwhile it’s election time in Argentina and that stupid Argie bint is term limited out. But she is still trying to hold the country in her talons.?

After nearly eight years in office, President Cristina Fern?ndez de Kirchner of Argentina will stand down in a few months. But even as voters weigh their options for a new leader, and look ahead to a change of direction for the country, their departing president has other plans.

Far from relinquishing power after she leaves office in December, Mrs. Kirchner appears to be seeking to retain influence from behind the scenes.

Argentines vote on Aug. 9 in open primary elections to decide the presidential nominee of each major party or alliance. To avoid splintering her party, the Front for Victory, Mrs. Kirchner, 62, effectively predetermined its nominee this month by endorsing Daniel Scioli, the governor of Buenos Aires Province, Argentina?s largest and most populous.

Mrs. Kirchner ?is trying to continue as leader even though she is leaving government,? said Rosendo Fraga, an Argentine political analyst. Mr. Scioli, 58, needed Mrs. Kirchner?s endorsement to secure the support of the Front for Victory?s voters, who make up about 30 percent of the electorate. But that endorsement appears to have come at a price.

Mr. Scioli has clashed in the past with Mrs. Kirchner?s supporters, who see him as being too close to corporate interests. Just a few months ago, he was promoting business-friendly policies and greater dialogue between the government and the private sector, a gentle shift from the interventionist policies of Mrs. Kirchner.

The president?s populist political movement, known as Kirchnerismo, has driven the expansion of social benefits, and a string of nationalizations, including pension funds, an oil company and an airline. These and other policies, including heavily taxing agricultural exports and enacting a law to curb media conglomerates, have pitted Mrs. Kirchner?s government against Argentina?s business establishment. She has also refused to pay off foreign hedge funds, which are suing the country over debts that remain unpaid after a default in 2002.

Mrs. Kirchner had previously expressed some support for another candidate, Florencio Randazzo, the minister of interior and transportation, who espoused absolute loyalty to Kirchnerismo.

But that all changed recently as Mr. Scioli sought Mrs. Kirchner?s support, and apparently acquiesced to her demands. In recent statements, he has called for the government to maintain its central role in the economy and has hinted that he would not be conciliatory to corporations or the foreign hedge funds either.

He has even modified the color of his campaign posters, merging the orange he has used in the past with the traditional blue of the Front for Victory.

?Scioli is going to be completely under the thumb of Cristina,? said Melanie Russo, a 22-year-old university student, reflecting a preference here for using Mrs. Kirchner?s first name.

Mr. Scioli also placated Mrs. Kirchner by selecting Carlos Zannini, one of her close aides, as his running mate. As legal secretary to the president, Mr. Zannini reviews bills and executive orders, and he is widely believed to have influenced the direction of Kirchnerismo since 2003, when he was appointed by N?stor Kirchner, Mrs. Kirchner?s late husband and predecessor.

Maybe it is time the Poms surface a Vanguard off Buenos Aries and tell the Argies that everyone knows they march backwards so they might as well give up any claim on the Falklands.

– The Telegraph, NY Times

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