The Argentine president says the idea is to "decentralise" the bureaucratic functioning of the different areas of the state

Alberto Fernández: "Every day I think about whether the capital should be somewhere other than Buenos Aires"

AP/NATACHA PISARENKO - The President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández

The current president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, held a meeting with his federal cabinet in the city of Monteros, in the province of Tucumán, where he once again revived the recurrent initiative that Buenos Aires should cease to be the nation's capital.

"Every day I think about whether the capital city of Argentina shouldn't be somewhere other than Buenos Aires and whether it shouldn't perhaps move north to give it all the potential that a capital city generates in any country," said the Argentine president.

This long-standing debate proposes that another city should take the place of Buenos Aires as Argentina's capital as a measure to reduce the country's significant territorial inequalities". Isn't it about time we started to take up these challenges and set out as a society how to do it?" said Fernández.

The aim of changing the capital city is to "decentralise" the bureaucratic functioning of the different areas of the state and, as the president himself said, "move Argentina", suggesting that the Energy or Fisheries Secretariat should be in Patagonia.

Buenos Aires, Argentina
An idea from the past

The initiative to move the capital to another Argentinian city, thus taking away the traditional prominence of Buenos Aires, emerged in 1986 under Raúl Alfonsín, according to the EFE news agency. His project aimed to decentralise power and part of his programme to achieve this was to relocate the capital to the southern city of Viedma, although the initiative did not succeed in the end.

In 2014, Congressman Alberto Asseff presented a bill calling for the transfer of the seat of government to Río Cuarto, in the province of Córdoba, and, at the same time, to move the Parliament and the National Auditor General's Office to the province of Santa Fe.

Although one does not have to go back very far to recall similar proposals, the current Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Julián Domínguez, also proposed moving the capital to Santiago del Estero, during his time as president of the Chamber of Deputies.

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentine federalism

The idea proposed by the Argentine government is in line with the federalist concept, which the president proposes to combat "asymmetries". 

"It is clear that in the centre of the country there is the wealth of the countryside that allows us to export everything we export and produce everything we produce, but in the rest of the country there are other riches that we must give the necessary pulse so that each province and place becomes a strong part of Argentina, that is federalism, to think of the whole of Argentina", Fernández emphasised during his conference.

This is not the first time that the Peronist president has put forward this idea; he has already done so with the "Alternative Capitals" programme, where he proposed "getting out of Buenos Aires, going and listening, going and seeing".

"First of all, what we have to achieve is to get into the heads of every Argentinean that we can make a fairer Argentina, with more balance, more equitable, that we are not condemned to the inequality we are experiencing today, that we can reverse it, and that depends on us," the Argentinean president said.

Latin America Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra.