Dozens of oxygen propellants donated by Lionel Messi in the pandemic remain stored in Rosario Customs. In the Rosario municipality they recognize that never reached the hospitals where they were to be used to face the trenches of the plague, when the respirators were insufficient in the face of the tide of patients who crowded the guards. Jorge Messithe player’s father, chartered a private plane to transport them in the first winter of the pandemic and download them at the Rosario airport. The intermediation of the donation had been carried out by diego schwarzstein. In Rosario, the name of Schwarzstein is legendary because it is associated with the history of the most extraordinary athlete that the city delivered. He was the doctor who saw Messi’s mother arrive in January 1997 and explained that her son wanted to be a soccer player, but he had a growth problem. Schwarzstein undertook studies, tests, and confirmed that the problem was the lack of a hormone. The treatment was expensive and required a subcutaneous injection of a genetically reproduced hormone once a day. That Schwarzstein diagnosis was the origin of the journey that ended with the little Lionel Messi playing for Barcelona club. It was also the first international leg of an odyssey that had in its most recent chapter the consecration of Messi as world champion. It is easy to imagine that a donation preceded by the names of Schwarstein and Messi, in the midst of the health deficiencies of the pandemic, had sufficient guarantees to unlock any government lock or state bureaucracy. It was not so.
The donated devices had been developed by the automotive company SEAT Next to the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) in Spain as emergency substitute for primary care. They were not respirators for hospitalization rooms. It was a prototype name OxyGEN that served to assist COVID patients who arrived with respiratory failure, until a respirator was released. But when they wanted to remove them from the airport, the National Administration of Drugs, Food and Medical Technology (ANMAT) prevented it. They did not fit into the categories that the organism had. More papers were required. Everything got stuck in the bureaucratic ivy, the same one that is easily perforated with bribes in the parallel paths of customs brokers. In Rosario they recognize that, Two years later, the teams still haven’t arrived. There was no illustrious last name that could beat the odds.
The story is part of the history of the relationship of the Messi family with the Argentine State and is intertwined as one more link in the chain of failures that feed the dissociation between Argentine society and political authority. That separation has widened in recent decades due to unfulfilled expectations, where the story of OxyGEN equipment donated for the pandemic is just an anecdote. Around it opens a vast ocean of deeper examples, economic setbacks, increased poverty and broken promises. That distance between society and authority ended up being reflected in the return of the soccer team, which avoided any postcard contact with political representation. Although it was celebrated by sectors of the opposition, the scene expresses an alarming decomposition: shows the non-existence of a minimum social consensus for any authority.
On this dry grassland of lack of legitimacy, the Government later threatens to fail to comply with a ruling by the Supreme Court of Justice. The public authority itself eats away at its legitimacy from within and celebrates it.
There are countless examples, but one is linked to the world of football. Alberto Fernández tried two years ago to generate an opponent for Chiqui Tapia to unseat him from the AFA and broke the pact that had been sealed for the distribution of power in the association. Everything was based on a miscalculation. Fernández never had the necessary votes to achieve the objective that his environment encouraged with a handful of institutions. Tapia built his strength with the meeting of dozens of small clubs, which together prevail in number over the big ones. But the presidential challenge served to seal the enmity of the head of the AFA. The footballing ability of the team gave Argentina a new world cup, with a group of players who refer to Lionel Messi as their captain like never before. Y Tapia was wise enough to join the group, which nicknames him “the fat one”, and support Lionel Scaloni against the attacks. When the invitations from the Government arrived to visit the Casa Rosada, the ruling party had done the impossible for them to be rejected.. Matthias Lammensthe Sports Minister who was in charge of part of the negotiations, was associated with Marcelo Tinellione of the faces that challenged Tapia’s power scheme. Santiago Carrerasthe benchmark for La Cámpora in Qatar, in regular dialogue with maximum kirchner, lacked motivation to work for the photo of Alberto Fernández with the selection. And the ruling party was now devoid of like-minded technical directors, as it had been in the past, when Alejandro Sabella and Jorge Sampaoli, who publicly showed their harmony with Kirchnerism. “The selection is 97 percent Messi,” reproduces a connoisseur of the group when asked how much the opinion of each player can weigh. The captain had to decide the way. The final decision was to celebrate in the streets and separate the authority.
The Government had interlocutors to change the destination, such as Marcelo Achillespresident of the First National of the AFA and friend of Julio Vitobello, Secretary General of the Presidency. The Minister of Economy, Sergio Massahe could turn to his ally Paul Tovigginoexecutive secretary of the AFA and Tapia’s right-hand man, a leader with ties to the Kirchnerist governor Gerardo Zamorafrom Santiago del Estero. Nobody wanted. Or no one was interested. The dissolution of authority finds its greatest contributors within the Government. A visionary, the emblematic Toviggino calls Tapia “commander” and uploads videos of Juan Domingo Perón and Pope Francis.
Miscalculations between its objectives and the ability to achieve them are an intrinsic characteristic of the Fernández governmentfrom the announcement of Vicentin’s nationalization to the defunding of the City of Buenos Aires. The misfortune is always repeated with the same scheme: it was born as an attempt to offer Kirchnerism a gesture of authority, then it is frustrated by its own weakness and the failure ends up leaving it in a worse crisis than the original one.. Thus was born the maneuver to take coparticipable funds from the City of Buenos Aires and hand them over to Axel Kicillof to strengthen the territory where Kirchnerism projects its survival. Fernández incinerated in that break in the consensus table that united him with Kicillof and Horacio Rodriguez Larreta the largest flow of popularity that he had achieved in his tenure. That offering also took place during the scourge of the pandemic, when the Lionel Messi Foundation donated equipment to help patients breathe to Rosario hospitals. The President failed to win the approval of Kirchnerism, which continued to envision him as an adversary and ended up generating an unprecedented institutional crisis with the Supreme Court. And the devices that Messi donated never reached the hospitals. As usually happens in Argentina, nothing ended as imagined.
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Lionel Messi’s donation and the alarming gap between society and political authority