Argentina to stick with Kirchner model-official

* Pres. Fernandez, Kirchner’s widow, back to work Monday

* Markets rallied on hope of a softer government stance

By Hugh Bronstein

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 30 (BestGrowthStock) – Argentine President
Cristina Fernandez will not backtrack from the interventionist
economic policies she developed with her late husband and will
return to work on Monday, just three days after his burial,
government officials said over the weekend.

Fernandez, in mourning after Wednesday’s death by heart
attack of her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, will
get straight back to the job, officials told local media.

Speculation was rife that Fernandez might soften the
state-centric stance that has marked her government now that
the Kirchner is no longer behind the scenes directing economic
policy and acting as her main power broker.

But, asked if there will be a change in the government’s
style, Planning Minister Julio De Vido told Chile’s El Murcurio
newspaper, “Absolutely not.”

“She has taken her stance … and now she will certainly
deepen it,” said De Vido, a powerful cabinet member.

“(Kirchner and Fernandez) were in sync and had the same
objectives. Obviously we’ve lost a soldier, but that doesn’t
imply that we’re going to change our strategy,” he said.

Kirchner, 60, had been a leading contender for next year’s
presidential election. With him gone, Fernandez may run.

Argentine bonds rallied after Kirchner’s death, based on
hope among investors that Fernandez would take a less
confrontational approach to the private sector and that
alternative candidates might have a better chance in 2011.

But, emboldened by the economy’s strong growth and sympathy
over Kirchner’s death, Fernandez could opt to take a more
aggressive stance to underline her authority.

Argentine newspaper Clarin, which is often critical of
Fernandez, said her quick return to work was meant to avoid
showing signs of weakness.

“In the face of adversity,” the newspaper said, “she will
try to double the march.”

Argentina, a leading agricultural exporter, has benefited
from a boom in commodities prices that helped it recover from
an economic crisis nine years ago that plunged millions of
Argentines into poverty and triggered a massive debt crisis.

As president, Kirchner oversaw the 2005 renegotiation of
the country’s unpaid bonds, making him a hero to many at home
while earning him the ire of international investors.

(Editing by Vicki Allen)

Argentina to stick with Kirchner model-official