President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner called for an public ethics law for journalists on Thursday, during the inauguration of a new plant for state-owned YPF oil company in the province of Buenos Aires.
President Fernández made the statement after revealing that former YPF owner, Repsol, had put aside $11m a year for “journalists and unconventional advertising.
“The fourth power needs to publish which companies are paying them so that we know that when we read an article,” declared the president, adding “we need a law of public ethics because information today is so important as it is read by millions of people who then base decisions on it.”
President Fernández highlighted the case of Clarín columnist and TN news host Marcelo Bonelli, who allegedly received $1m in payments over four years for “services” to Repsol.
Bonelli had earlier written a column suggesting YPF President Miguel Galuccio had threatened to resign over a disagreement with President Fernández, claims dismissed by both parties.
In today’s Clarín column, Bonelli defended his articles about Galuccio, saying: “That is what happened, whether the president likes it or not. I had the obligation to inform people of it.” The journalist claimed the government is trying to discredit him, and added that all of his earnings have been declared to tax agency, AFIP.
During yesterday’s inauguration ceremony, President Fernández said that the new plant would enable the elaboration of 1,750 litres of diesel a year. She also announced that fuel prices at petrol stations would be fixed to match those offered by YPF.