Falklands - the posturing begins
So, what is it all about? First there is the long-standing dispute about who "owns" the Falklands. How you view this depends upon whether you think places like this have the right to self-determination, and since, to all intents and purposes, the Falkland Islanders are British and wish to remain so, having colonised since the early 19th Century.
What are the stakes? Well, 60 billion barrels is a lot more than the 40 billion barrels sucked up so far from the North Sea. So it's enough to run a few Chelsea Tractors with plenty left to keep Gordon Brown in a fantasy world of largesse and grandeur. The trouble is, this is exploration - so far there has been no recovery of commercially viable oil. At the moment, the Falkland Islanders get a lot of revenue from Squid, and there is probably not enough of the slimy invertebrate to satisfy the needs of that slimy invertebrate.
What is the rhetoric? Well, our old friend "Yuman rights" of course. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina’s president, said she would “work unceasingly for our rights in the Malvinas, for human rights.” A bit of background on Cristina reveals that she could not run a whelk stall, let alone a country. Argentina is perennially a shithole. Economically, it collapsed in 2001 and has still not recovered, having defaulted on Government Bonds and payments to the World Bank. A string of nationalisations has brought in some revenue, with the Government plundering private pension schemes as well.
Trade restrictions, however, are not unusual. The country has upset its neighbour, Brazil, by imposing them. Growth has increased slightly and is projected to continue in 2010, but this is largely due to public spending. (sound familiar) and the massaging of inflation indexes (sound familiar?). My assessment is that the Government of Argentina, and particularly the president (aided and abetted by her husband) are engaging in an increasingly wreckless series of initiatives which are driving the economy further into the poop (ditto?) A fairly prevalent view is that this affair is being trumped up to deflect attention from more pressing and real domestic issues.(see brackets passim)
Posted by Wrinkled Weasel on Thursday, February 18, 2010