Argentina calls on Kissinger associate to repair financialreputation

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: With hopes for recovery pinned to a bailout package that has so far garnered scant outside support, the Economics Ministry of Argentina has hired New York-based Zemi Communications to convince potential aid-providers that the country has a viable plan for overcoming its ongoing fiscal crisis.

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: With hopes for recovery pinned to a bailout package that has so far garnered scant outside support, the Economics Ministry of Argentina has hired New York-based Zemi Communications to convince potential aid-providers that the country has a viable plan for overcoming its ongoing fiscal crisis.

Alan Stoga, who helms Zemi, is a one-time associate of Henry Kissinger, who helped Argentina negotiate its way out of the debt crisis that hit Latin America during the 1980s.

"Stoga is very familiar with our problems, our virtues, and our defects,

Silvia Mercado, head of media relations at the Argentine Ministry of Economics, told Argentinean communications publication Imagen. "Most important of all, he knows how to influence American public opinion as we begin our arduous campaign for reassimilation into the world."

Stoga was not available to comment on his strategy. One approach he might take, suggested Felix Salmon, Latin America editor at Euromoney magazine, would involve repositioning the turmoil in Argentina as a potential threat to US national security.

"Where the PR comes in is in Washington,

explained Salmon. "Argentina is not going to be able to attract private money, so the only thing they can hope for is public investments.

"If Stoga can persuade the State Department that it's of utmost strategic importance that Argentina not be allowed to completely implode,

he continued, "then it can, in turn, take that message to the White House, which can lean on the World Bank and IMF."

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