Cristina Fernandez Brain Surgery a 'Success;' Argentine President in ICU

Image: Cristina Fernandez Brain Surgery a 'Success;' Argentine President in ICU

Wednesday, 09 Oct 2013 11:21 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, president of Argentina, underwent successful surgery to remove a blood clot Tuesday.

The Favaloro Foundation clinic in Buenos Aires said in a statement that Fernandez, 60, remained in the intensive care unit, Bloomberg News reported. Doctors diagnosed Fernandez with a subdural hematoma on Oct. 5 after she received a blow to the head eight weeks earlier, said spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro.

"The operation was a success and she's in good spirits and accompanied by her family," Scoccimarro told reporters.

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Before the surgery, Fernandez had fought against slumping poll numbers and a poor economy, according to Bloomberg. The Argentina population has grown anxious over an increase in crime, restrictions on dollar purchases and an estimated 25 percent annual inflation rate.

Her Victory Front alliance grabbed 30 percent of the vote during August's election primary, its smallest percentage in a decade, according to Bloomberg. The rival Peronist Party, led by former cabinet chief Sergio Massa, captured 35 percent of votes. Midterm elections are set for Oct. 27.

Other concerns in Argentina include the U.S. Supreme Court declining to hear an appeal by the Argentina government in its effort to avoid paying bondholders more than a decade after the country defaulted on its $100 billion debt, according to the Washington Post.

The combination of domestic and financial problems has caused Fernández's approval rating to tumble to 33.5 percent. She won reelection by a landslide in 2011, the Post noted.

"A number of problems are reaching the boiling point," Arturo Porzecanski, a professor of international economics at American University, told the Post. "It ain’t Venezuela yet, but the unhappiness with her reflects real discontent with the economy and with all kinds of other things."

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Fernández is a former senator who came into national prominence when she preceded her husband, the late Nestor Kirchner as president in 2007, according to the Post. Argentina's economy grew behind its robust agricultural trade with China, which snapped up the country's soy products.

Economists are predicting that the Argentina will grow three percent this year, below the nine percent that Fernández enjoyed in 2010.

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