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Argentine Executive Takes Economic Post of Official Who Died

From Reuters

New Argentine President Carlos Menem on Saturday swore in another businessman to carry on the efforts of Economy Minister Miguel Roig, who died of a heart attack six days after taking on the country’s worst economic crisis.

The new minister, Nestor Rapanelli, 60, was chief executive of the Argentine multinational corporation Bunge & Born, the same post his chain-smoking predecessor held until April, 1988.

Rapanelli, who sat across the negotiating table from Roig in talks this week on a pact to hold down price rises described by Menem as “savage and bloody,” immediately forecast new increases.

“I am sorry to say I believe some price adjustments have yet to be made due to the rise in (public utility) tariffs,” he said.

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Menem, who took office a week ago after economic chaos forced his predecessor, Raul Alfonsin, to step down five months early, said Rapanelli would follow the lines set by Roig, who died Friday at age 67.

“Rapanelli is the right man to carry on with (Roig’s) plans, which were many months in the making,” Menem told reporters at Roig’s wake at Government House.


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