Inaugurating "corruption"

Published: Saturday 15 October 1994

On September 3, the Argentinian president Carlos Menem inaugurated the first of the 20 turbines of the 3,200MW Yacyreta dam, which he once called country's "monument to corruption". The Yacyreta project on the Parana river, the result of an agreement in 1958 between Argentina and Paraguay, was dogged by charges of corruption soon after the feasibility studies began.

Contracts were reportedly awarded to groups with the strongest lobbying capability in both countries. Also, constant bickering between the 2 countries, Argentina's repeated financial crises and 17 changes of government over the past 36 years have delayed the project. As Yacyreta goes operational, Menem claims to have found a market solution by turning it over to a private operator.

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