Argentina's Fernandez: Opposition wanted me gone

AP News
Posted: Jul 26, 2011 9:51 PM
Argentina's Fernandez: Opposition wanted me gone

President Cristina Fernandez says in the first authorized biography about her life that Argentina's political and media opposition tried to remove her from office.

"La Presidenta, Story of a Life," which went on sale Tuesday, offers a rare look into the life of Argentina's first female president and one of South America's first. Fernandez is known for rarely giving interviews.

In the book, Fernandez tells the author, journalist Sandra Russo, previously unknown details of her life and government.

Fernandez became president in 2007, taking over from her husband Nestor Kirchner. The following year she tried to raise farm export taxes, sparking a revolt by the country's farmers. She canceled the tax hike after months of crippling food and transport strikes that eroded her popularity and a stunning rejection of the measure in the Senate when her own vice president voted against it.

"They wanted to remove me in 2008," Fernandez said in the biography. "Yes. I have no doubt. They hadn't wanted me to be the candidate (for the presidency in 2007). Basically the Grupo Clarin."

She accused Argentina's dominant media company, Grupo Clarin, of backing the strikers and trying to undermine her government.

"The situation forced us to fight to defend the government. You turned on the television that year and you heard them say things about Kirchner and I that never had been said about anyone. Anyone. Ever," she was quoted as saying in the book.

After the political defeat, Fernandez's government launched an assault on the Grupo Clarin, passing a new media law that would force big media companies to break apart. It also launched judicial proceedings against the executive director and owner of Grupo Clarin, prompting the company to say that it was being persecuted.

The book also touches on the death of Nestor Kirchner on Oct. 27, 2010.

Fernandez says in the book: "He died with me here, in bed. He didn't die in a hospital."