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Class dispute in pandemic increases political conflict in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Apr 18 (Reuters) – The dispute between the Government of the City of Buenos Aires and the national administration over measures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic would escalate after a court ruling released on Sunday enables face-to-face classes in the Argentine capital.

The decision of the justice of the city, based on a request presented by non-governmental organizations, nullifies the suspension of face-to-face classes, in the capital and its surroundings for 15 days, which was ordered by the president, Alberto Fernández, in a published decree on Friday.

The president of the South American country criticized the judicial decision.

“They are taking measures that are the exclusive source of federal justice,” Fernández told the El Uncover news portal.

“A sanitary measure of the national government tries to be suspended by the Buenos Aires Justice (of the city), a local jurisdiction, manifestly incompetent to resolve on federal questions,” he added.

The opposing positions between the center-left president, Fernández, and the mayor of the city, the opposition Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, on the presence of the classes led the latter to appeal to the Supreme Court to issue a decision on whether students should return to the schools of the Argentine capital.

“For me it is a great pride to inform you that in the City of Buenos Aires, the schools will be open tomorrow, Horacio Larreta said at a press conference on Sunday.

“We make decisions based on the data,” the official emphasized.

For their part, two unions that include education workers reported that on Monday they will hold a strike to demand compliance with what has been decreed by the national government.

Argentina, according to data from the Health Ministry, registered 16,267 cases on Sunday, after reaching a record level of 29,472 cases on Friday.

(Report by Hernán Nessi, edited by Eliana Raszewski)

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