Hernán Lombardi: "We already tried to see the world as a threat and it did not go well"
Between the meetings and the permanent calls of the eve of the summit of leaders, the coordinator of the Technical Unit G-20 , Hernán Lombardi , spoke to LA NACION in his CCK offices. The minister insisted on highlighting the importance of the meeting, stressed that security is a central issue under "permanent attention", provided details on the restrictions to circulate in the city and reiterated that multilateralism is central for the Macri administration. "We tried to see the world as a threat and it did not go well for us," he said.
- Why is the G-20 important for Argentina?
-We are facing a huge opportunity for all argentines. It is the tangible proof of the great mature relationship that Argentina has built with the community of nations in the diversity of the world scene. We have been working very intensely, during over 70 meetings in different parts of the country. All these encounters have had economic impact in ten provinces. In addition, the country has no memory of a summit of this importance, with so many world leaders that will be arriving, as well as key meetings such as those of President [Donald] Trump with Xi [Jinping] or with [Vladimir] Putin.
- One of the objectives is to achieve a statement that shows more consensus than differences, but that is not guaranteed. Will it be a failure if it is not achieved?
- The temporary presidency of Argentina can aim to seek consensus, offer a friendly and safe scenario, but then everything depends on the world situation, which is complex. The leaders have the last word. We are facilitators.
- Why does the G-20 matter to an ordinary citizen?
- All Argentina is a country traditionally very well connected with the world. The possibilities offered by the relationship with the world allow permanent learning. We Argentines have tried other ways, to see the world as a threat, and it has not gone well. A huge consensus around the opportunities offered by the world will touch the ordinary citizen as well. In addition, every element you see in the debates is linked to how we project ourselves into the future. That touches all citizens, young people.
- Do you think that the summit will help Macri politically?
- The President does not make short term calculations for his own political advantage. He never has. But if the vision of greater integration with the world brings us closer to our strategic objectives (reduce poverty, improve dialogue between Argentines and fight drug trafficking), yes, of course. But it is not a tactical political decision. It is a long-term vision that will make life better for all Argentines.
- How much did the summit cost?
-As we do every time we host big events, we will disclose the figures. But austerity is a common denominator in the organization. What does it mean that the summit will be austere? Macri entrusted us to take care of every peso that we have. It will be evident in every decision. There are logistical issues in which we have reduced spending, but always taking care so as not to affect the quality of the organization.
- How concerned are you about security?
- We pay attention to it permanently. Providing maximum security is part of the mission we have and that Minister Patricia Bullrich has encountered succesfully. Throughout the organization we had what are called "advanced visits": all countries sent delegations. As organizers, we proposed a security scheme that was checked and rechecked and now has adjustments based on the results of those conversations.
- And anti-globalization mobilizations?
- There are many contingencies and that is one. If someone has something to say, he can say it.
- Are the recent anarchist attacks linked to the summit or not?
- Everything is under investigation. We pay attention to every situation that arises.
- Will the the city be in virtual lockdown?
- We are aware that we are causing some discomfort. During the two days of the Summit [on November 30 and December 1], circulation in the Parque Norte, Aeroparque, Costa Salguero and Puerto Madero corridors will be very restricted. There will also be strong and severe restrictions on 9 de Julio Avenue, in Recoleta, and transportation. But the operation is designed to cause the least possible inconvenience to citizens. On the 29th there will be restrictions too, but the objective will be to allow people to leave the city after noon. We are facing the most important event in modern history in terms of leadership and that requires providing a safe setting for all our visitors.