Skip to content

BAUEN, day 11

Irrazábal made a brief argument for the bill:

This is a half-sanctioned bill that tries to give a definitive solution to a situation that is taking place in the BAUEN hotel. There, a worker cooperative has been managing the hotel for almost fourteen years. It’s a very long story, and I won’t tell it now.

Faced with muttering and questions from some Senators, Irrazábal cut them off. “You want me to make it short? All right, I’ll make it very short,” and he explained the three main points of the law: the political solution to the long legal conflict, the interest of the workers and the State, and the social function the hotel was meant to serve. The Senator made his arguments but also was watching the clock out of the corner of his eye. He also proposed a final vote on all bills at eleven. Petcoff Naidenoff asked for the floor to repeat the arguments of the bosses who complained about the hotel, saying that there was a legal solution and that he wanted time to study the case. Of course, time to study the case would mean the demise of the bill. Several Senators asked for the floor, which is why another Senator from the Front for Victory, Anabel Fernández Sagasti, made a point of order to force voting. There was then a brief debate, almost a skirmish, between those who did and did not want to allow the point of order to put the vote on the schedule. Senator Pinedo did not deny himself a brief intervention that paints a clear picture of the posture of Macri’s supporters towards the BAUEN and the recovered businesses in general:

Madame President, this is a peculiar case that has already been rejected in other jurisdictions–for example, in the City of Buenos Aires. It is a case in which the value of good is enormous–it is a building at Callao and Corrientes–and the beneficiaries are very few. So, to put up the money of all Argentines, people with extreme need, to give away a fortune to a very few people, is something that we we cannot vote for.

Two of the “very few people” followed the scene very nervously from the room where they were. Eva, Federico recalls, “was in anguish, she prayed until she cried, and I was sitting next to her, constantly on WhatsApp.”

Outside, the group was struggling to keep up through cell phones, by way of messages from Federico that were reaching Fabio, and through others who were communicating with people within the Senate, who spread the word to still others.

Finally, another Senator, Eduardo Aguilar, was able to call the question. It was the third round the BAUEN had been through. The voting again ended up 41 to 17, and only one step was left, the last obstacle in that session of anguish. As votes were counted in the system and final voting was opened, several Senators and the Vice-President tried confuse and delay voting. Eva kept praying. Some Senators had left, which is what those outside were afraid of, which is why some people who were leaving the Senate were not well received as they passed the protesters, who did not know for certain whether they were legislators or not. There was even debate about what was being voted on, which was very confusing, until Michetti was forced to put the expropriation to a vote. Again, it won, 39 to 17.

This time, the BAUEN really had been expropriated.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *