A State-run Bauen?
In November of 2014, it came to light that Deputy Andrés Larroque, of the Front for Victory, had presented or was about to present a new expropriation bill that was explicitly supported, for the first time, by the Executive Power. The BAUEN workers, after the latest adverse judgment by the Supreme Court – which represented the definitive end of any possibility of reconsideration of the judgment of the lower court – had started efforts at the governmental level, from which emerged the reactivation of the study of the old debt of the Iurcoviches with the BANADE, in the Ministry of Economy.
The resulting bill varied substantially from the prior one. Its basis was similar, and was anchored in the the Iurcovich group’s links to the dictatorship, the loan and unpaid debt with the BANADE, and the lack of follow-through by the State. Next, the project declared the property at Callao 360 to be of public utility and subject to expropriation, and that the State would determine the severance after deducting those debts. The change came after that. The proposal was not to cede the expropriated goods to the BAUEN cooperative, but to create a State company that would administer the hotel to receive guests from social and health programs, which is to say, it would turn into a social hotel belonging to the Nation-state. The members of the cooperative would become workers of the State business created by the law. It was not clear what the fate of the cooperative would be, but in some cases, it was argued that it would continue existing and would take care of the management of some tasks within the hotel, as a partner of the State.
The bill presented by Larroque, a leader of the kirchnerista group La Cámpora, aroused indignation among conservative media, which added their traditional bitterness against the BAUEN cooperative to their obsession with “camporismo.” The newspaper La Nación published the news in shocked tones: “La Cámpora now wants expropriate the Bauen hotel.”1 The newspaper pointed out that this happened “despite the judicial rulings, validated by the Supreme Court, that order it returned to its legitimate owner.” After describing the main characteristics of the bill, quoting its text in a couple of paragraphs, and explaining that the use it would make of the hotel was “the provision of social tourism and of coverage of medical referrals for the whole country, made through the PAMI,” the conservative daily paper ended by quoting the Mercoteles agent, Gerardo Palomero, who did nothing more than repeat the well-known arguments of the business.
- “The Cámpora now wants expropriate the Hotel Bauen,” in La Nación, 21 November 2014. Recovered from https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/la-campora-expropiacion-hotel-bauen-andres-cuervo-larroque-diputados-nid1745827/↩