BUENOS AIRES — President Cristina Fernandez fired Argentina's central bank chief for dereliction of duty Thursday after he refused to step down in a dispute over whether international reserves should be used to pay debt.
An emergency decree signed by Fernandez and her , and distributed by government news agency Telam, said Martin Redrado "failed to fulfill the duties of a public servant."
Redrado angered the president by refusing to comply with an order to use about $6.6 billion in reserves to help cover $13 billion in international debt falling due this year. He had said he would wait for Congress to ratify the measure.
Fernandez asked Redrado to resign Wednesday but he refused, setting up a standoff that rattled financial markets.
Fernandez's government named central bank vice president Miguel Pesce – who has opposed Redrado's stance on using the reserves to cover debt – to take over the institution on an interim basis, according to TN news channel.
Constitutional law professor Andres Gil called Redrado's firing unconstitutional, saying the bank chief does not serve solely subject to the president's pleasure and it would first fall to Congress to issue a recommendation on his ouster.
"He is not just a (Cabinet) minister whom the president can decide to fire," said Andres Gil, who teaches constitutional law at Buenos Aires University.
I liked the "I accept your resignation" vs. "I'm not resigning!" exchange LOL. Argentina is the 3rd largest economy in Latin America (behind Brazil and Mexico), that's why I posted.