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Mon Sep 26, 2016, 10:50 PM

Argentina's Macri counters falling approval with staged photo-ops using working-class extras.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri came under fire over the weekend for staging a photo-op in which he, Transport Minister Guillermo Dietrich, and other officials in his right-wing administration can be seen riding a city bus with what appears to be a group of working class residents.

The event, which took place on Thursday in Derqui (a small town 20 miles NW of Buenos Aires), was touted by the administration and its supportive media. It was, however, proven by to be a staged photo-op by photos and footage taken during the event, which show Macri and his entourage arriving at the site by helicopter and boarding a presidential VW Touareg to the site of the waiting bus.

The bus was not on its normal route; but was instead commandeered by Macri officials to the site, outside city limits, for the brief, 5-minute ride around a patch of grassland. The riders, though locals, were paid extras.

The sham was first revealed on Saturday by Página/12 writer Gustavo Veiga, who described it as an "attempt to humanize Macri by turning a bus into a photography studio."

Macri ex machina

This is not the first time Macri's use of working-class citizens as props has created controversy since he took office in December.

His visit to a General Motors plant in Santa Fe Province on May 11 was followed by revelations that a number of "workers" who posed, all smiles, with the president during his visit were in fact hired extras.

This was followed by a "neighborhood walk" taken by Macri in Mendoza Province after presiding over festivities for General San Martín Day, which takes place every August 17 and honors the father of Argentine independence. During the brief visit, Macri personally "surprised" local schoolteacher Liliana Monti de Frigoli by ringing her doorbell and requesting use of her facilities.

Mrs. Frigoli was happy to comply - but later admitted in an interview with the right-wing daily La Nación (which supports Macri) that her husband had informed her a day earlier that "an official would be coming by tomorrow to ask to use the bathroom" as part of a staged event.

The "official" was President Macri.

Taken for idiots

These staged neighborly visits coincided with a number of politically damaging controversies for the 9-month old Macri administration.

The first took place shortly after the Panama Papers scandal revealed that he and/or his family control around a dozen offshore shell companies opened over the last 35 years with the apparent intent to evade taxes; the second, following a series of court rulings that struck down Macri's decrees authorizing utility rate hikes of over 300% as illegal because they had been imposed without public hearings (as the law dictates); and the most recent, just days after the ICIJ published its Bahamas Leaks and uncovered another multi million-dollar Macri offshore investment from the past.

A variety of polls released over the past few days show that while Macri's job approval has stabilized at around 44%, they show that if presidential elections were held today he would lose by 13% (he won by 2.7% in November). 57% of those polled, moreover, find they are worse off since Macri took office, with only 17% saying they are better off. A similar share (57%) support calls for a general strike by the CGT, Argentina's largest labor federation.

An estimated 200,000 Argentines have lost their jobs since Macri enacted a sharp devaluation, steep hikes in rates and fares, and other austerity policies since taking office. For those who remain employed, real wages have fallen by an average of 11% and many have lost benefits.

"The administration needs to stage these things because they've broken too many campaign promises," publicist Fernando Braga said, referring to the staged photo-ops. "But the bus event has backfired because people feel they're being taken for idiots."

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.diarioregistrado.com/conurbano-registrado/un-video-muestra-el-burdo-montaje-de-macri-en-el-colectivo-de-pilar_a57e92a3dd17589f27a53fee6&prev=search

And: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.diarioregistrado.com%2Fsociedad%2Fmas-de-la-mitad-de-los-trabajadores-cree-que-la-situacion-empeoro-y-apoya-un-paro-general_a57e518c6d17589f27a53f1b8

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Reply Argentina's Macri counters falling approval with staged photo-ops using working-class extras. (Original post)
forest444 Sep 2016 OP
Judi Lynn Sep 2016 #1

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Tue Sep 27, 2016, 02:51 AM

1. Oh, it would be great seeing these bogus, lying photo ops!

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Sure wish some non-fascist publication would print all the photos he has made which are clearly contrived.

They'll do ANYTHING to put one over on the voters, even pretending they like to be around the "common man," who, as Macri shows us, has been replaced in his photo ops by bogus common men and women!

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