Argentine Commerce Secretary takes boxing gloves to meeting at newsprint mill

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  • August 13, 2010

By Maira Magro

The Secretary of Commerce in Argentina, Guillermo Moreno, took helmets and boxing gloves to a meeting to discuss changes to the oversight committee of Papel Prensa, the largest manufacturer of newsprint in the country, reported the newspaper Clarín (see also a link to a video of the meeting).

The changes are being pushed for by Clarín and the newspaper La Nación, which, along with the Argentine government, are shareholders in the newsprint company -- something which has turned into another round of disputes in the turbulent relationship between the Argentine government and the two newspapers.

As explained La Nación, private shareholders want to kick out one of the two government representatives from the oversight committee of Papel Prensa. That comittee is the only one where the government has a majority, according to Página 12.

Government representatives accused the private shareholders of wanting to cause a "legal scandal" and "impose an automatic majority without listening" to the other side, reported the news agency Télam.

In an unusual strategy to prevent the change, Moreno offered helmets and boxing gloves to the representatives of Clarín and La Nación: "These are the elements of protection that will allow us to come to terms," he said, adding that there was no possibility of changing the only committee in which the state holds a majority, and that the private investors were unwilling to move forward in a transparent management. He continued, to the point of screaming, and then the meeting was adjourned.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.