Alberto Fernández asked Kulfas to resign after the broadcast of a report in off

Alberto Fernández asked Kulfas to resign after the broadcast of a report in off

Photo: File.

President Alberto Fernández asked Matías Kulfas to resign after considering “ethically reprehensible” the dissemination of an ‘off’ report on the bidding process for the Néstor Kirchner gas pipelinein a day that had begun with the accusation by Vice President Cristina Fernández of “officials of the government itself” of “carrying out attacks, without showing their faces, lying and using journalists.”

Fernández asked Kulfas to resign shortly after pointing out from his official Twitter account that he considered “ethically reprehensible to speak in off to the detriment of another” and that he did not endorse “those procedures”; The decision was communicated at 2:20 p.m. by the spokesperson for the Presidency, Gabriela Cerruti.

At the highest levels of the Executive, they regretted that Kulfas is leaving the administration, but they considered it a great mistake to use an off-screen text as a reply to what Cristina Fernández de Kirchner had raised on Friday night at Tecnópolis, where she requested that the Techint Group ” make here, in Argentina, the laminated sheet that they produce in Brazil for the pipes” that will be used in the gas pipeline.

The counterpoint was gaining tension at noon this Saturday, after the state company Energía Argentina (former Enarsa) fully reproduced the written off through a statement in which he described it as a “note lacking technical knowledge”in particular the bidding process, and where he also rejected the accusation that “a bidding document tailored to Techint” had been put together.

From Energía Argentina they pointed out that the layout of the gas pipeline requires specific “technical scopes”, which determine “the thickness of the pipes” to be used, and this is how one of the points criticized by the note attributed to the Productive Development portfoliothat of -supposedly- having put together “a bidding document tailored to Techint” because the sheet metal that this business group manufactures in Brazil is 33 mm thick when 31 mm pipes are used in Europe.

“Prior to initiating the bidding process, Energía Argentina proceeded to request the Argentine Chamber of Manufacturers of Steel Pipes and Tubes to indicate which companies could meet these technical requirements. The answer was that only SIAT SA complied,” the company replied. , and added that despite this they carried out “an international bidding process to summon foreign companies”, but in the end only SIAT SA submitted an offer.

SIAT SA, the only supplier for the supply of rolled sheet, is controlled by Tenaris, a Techint group company that manufactures tubes and provides services for the energy industry, while for the acquisition of valves, they added from Energía Argentina, “the bidding process is still open and will be declared unsuccessful because none of the bids meet the requested delivery times”.

With those statements, the company in charge of the tender rejected the two questions contained in the off-screen reportthe alleged favoring of Techint and the award to “a foreign importer instead of an Argentine manufacturer that offered similar prices and conditions, failing to comply with the national purchase.”

In the same vein, Energy Secretary Darío Martínez spoke out denying the criticism of the bidding process, reposting the denial of Energía Argentina from his networks and remarking that “the works on the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline have been carried out in accordance with all the technical specifications and meeting all the deadlines required by such an important project”.

On Friday, at the end of the act for the centenary of YPF in Villa Martelli, Kulfas had referred to the Vice President’s claim for Techint to move a production line to Argentina to manufacture the laminated sheet in the country and not import it from Brazil.

In a radio dialogue with AM750, he said that IEA (former name of Energía Argentina) is led “by people who have a very close relationship” with it, and it is “the company that makes the tender (for the gas pipeline) and the one that establishes the conditions”.

This Saturday at noon,The head of the Senate defined the criticism of the bidding process as “attacks” by “officials of the Frente de Todos government itself” whom he considered “very unfair” and “painful” but “the worst of all”he insisted, is that they are executed “without showing their faces, in off, lying and using journalists.”

Following the request for the resignation of Kulfas, who played a very important role in the economic team, the Executive will have to resolve the continuity of many key officials who work with him but will also have to define the name and profile of a replacement, a decision which is expected on Monday, one day before the President leaves for Los Angeles to attend the IX Summit of the Americas.

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