Agustín Rossi

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Agustín Rossi
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Minister of Defense of Argentina
Incumbent
Assumed office
June 3, 2013
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Preceded by Arturo Puricelli
National Deputy
for Santa Fe Province
In office
December 10, 2005 – June 3, 2013
Personal details
Born (1959-10-18) October 18, 1959 (age 54)
Vera, Santa Fe, Argentina
Political party Front for Victory
Spouse(s) María Raquel Pezzelato
Children 2
Alma mater National University of Rosario
Profession Civil engineer

Agustín Oscar Rossi (born October 18, 1959), also known by his nickname El Chivo Rossi, is an Argentine Justicialist Party politician from Santa Fe Province. He was elected to the Argentine Chamber of Deputies in 2005, and served as leader of the majority Front for Victory caucus in said house. Rossi was appointed Minister of Defense in June 2013.

Biography[edit]

Rossi was born in Vera, a small city in the north of Santa Fe Province, where he spent his early youth. He moved to Rosario when he was 17 years old, and graduated as a civil engineer at the National University of Rosario. [1]

Rossi was a member of the Peronist University Youth in the 1970s, and joined the Justicialist Party in the 1980s. He elected to the Rosario Deliberative Council in 1987, but returned to his private practice in the 1991. He returned to politics in 2001, was elected to the Deliberative Council in 2002, and presided said body from 2004 to 2005.

In the 2005 legislative elections he ran for a seat in the Lower House of Congress for the Front for Victory, the largest faction of the Justicialist Party, formed by supporters of President Néstor Kirchner. His campaign capitalized on, and was centered on gaining support for, the successful policies implemented by Kirchner on the national level; Rossi, who was not yet well known in the province, presented himself as "Kirchner's candidate."[2] The Front for Victory party list headed by Rossi came in second (with 33% of votes) after the Socialist Party list headed by Hermes Binner (43%).[3]

He then became the head of the Front for Victory caucus in the lower house of Congress.[4] In that capacity, he took on the task of imposing party discipline while rallying legislative support of Kirchner's policies; he stated that "the caucus [belonging to the ruling party] has the fundamental role of being the legislative arm of the government. I cannot conceive a [government party] block that has doubts or criticism for the government's projects. Society tells us: 'I choose you to strengthen the course of action initiated by the President." [5] He also courted controversy with his rhetoric, notably in August 2010 when he described lawmakers who presented a bill that sought reverse a government decision to revoke an expired license for the Fibertel internet service provider, as "lawyers" for the Clarín Group (Fibertel's parent company); there have been ongoing controversies between Clarín and Kirchnerism since 2008 over a number of issues.[6]

Rossi was a candidate in the FpV primary for the governorship of Santa Fe in the 2007 elections. His rival within the party was Rosario-born National Deputy and former Foreign Relations Minister Rafael Bielsa. The Mayor of Rafaela, Omar Perotti, campaigned for some time as well, but finally gave up and turned to support Bielsa. Although some in the party, including Bielsa, would have rather negotiated on a consensus candidacy, Rossi insisted on conducting a primary election. Rossi also stated that he wanted Bielsa's sister María Eugenia (then vice-governor of Santa Fe), on his party list, though he instead chose Jorge Fernández, former Minister of Education during the governorship of Víctor Reviglio.[7][8][9] Bielsa was eventually chosen as the party's candidate in primary elections on July 1, 2007, but subsequently lost the election to Socialist Hermes Binner.

Rossi continued in his role as Majority Leader of the Chamber of Deputies as head of the Front for Victory caucus, which retained a majority in the Chamber. President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner nominated him to the post of Minister of Defense of Argentina on May 30, 2013.[10]

References[edit]