TWICE this year, the second time less than seven weeks ago, Néstor Kirchner had been rushed to hospital for surgery to clear blocked arteries. His doctors urged him to rest. Instead he continued a relentless round of political activity aimed at ensuring he would succeed his wife, Cristina Fernández, in the presidency at an election due in a year’s time, just as she had succeeded him in 2007. As it turned out, one of the few things in Argentina Mr Kirchner could not hope to control was his own health. On October 27th, during a meeting at his country home in El Calafate, a resort in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz, he collapsed and died shortly afterwards of a heart attack.

今年的第二次,距离上一次Néstor Kirchner被紧急送往医院进行清理动脉堵塞的手术不到七周。医师催促他要多休息,但他仍拼命地从事政治活动,为了要确保自己在距今不到一年的总统大选继任妻子Cristina Fernández的总统职位,正如妻子在2007年继任他的总统职位一样。结果发生了Néstor Kirchner最不想在阿根廷见到的情况之一,就是自己的健康出了差错。十月廿七日,在家乡巴塔哥尼亚高原Santa Cruz省度假胜地El Calafate举行的会议上,他累垮了,心脏病发不久即死亡。

Mr Kirchner’s arrival in the presidency in 2003, after a stint as governor of Santa Cruz during the 1990s, was a product of the political turmoil unleashed by Argentina’s economic collapse of 2001-02, when five presidents came and went in days amid an $80 billion debt default and a traumatic devaluation. Eventually Eduardo Duhalde, a seasoned boss from the dominant Peronist movement, brought stability and called an election. He reluctantly backed Mr Kirchner only after several more senior leaders had declined to run.

Néstor Kirchner结束了1990年代的Santa Cruz省长任期之后,2003年就任总统职位,主因在于阿根廷2001-02年经济崩盘引发了政治动荡,这段期间拖欠了八百亿美元外债,通货披索发生疯狂贬值,来来去去换了五位总统。最后,来自最大势力裴隆党经验丰富的党主席Eduardo Duhalde接下烫手山芋,带来局势稳定并举行全国大选。在几位最资深的领导人拒绝出马参选之后,Duhalde勉为其难支持Néstor Kirchner竞选总统。

Having been deprived of a proper mandate when his opponent, Carlos Menem, withdrew from a run-off election, Mr Kirchner began cautiously. He kept Mr Duhalde’s capable economy minister, Roberto Lavagna, and reformed the Supreme Court, appointing respected figures instead of cronies. With the economy roaring, helped by Mr Lavagna’s policies and the rise in the world price of Argentina’s farm exports, Mr Kirchner felt strong enough to turn on Mr Duhalde. He humiliated him in a legislative election in 2005, dumped Mr Lavagna and revealed himself as ruthless in accumulating power.

当时的对手Carlos Menem退出了第二轮投票,使得他就任的正当性也遭剥夺,Néstor Kirchner小心谨慎地开始接手。他留任了Eduardo Duhalde政府内干练的经济部长Roberto Lavagna,并且改组最高法院,任命备受推崇的学者而不是挚友。随著经济复苏,得力于Lavagna的政策,阿根廷农业出口产品的国际市场价格抬高,Néstor Kirchner感觉自己的势力壮大足以抗衡Duhalde。他在2005年国会改选让Duhalde的妻子惨败,并将Lavagna撤职,在累积权力过程展示自己残酷的一面。

He reorganised the tax system to make provincial governors more dependent on the presidency, had frequent recourse to rule by decree, and nationalised some businesses. Many more he harassed into accepting price freezes, while other, favoured, companies prospered. He ruled through a tight-knit group of aides. With power went personal wealth, its source never fully explained.

Néstor Kirchner重建税制使得各地省长更加依赖总统,经常以行政命令迳行统治,并将一些企业收归国有。更有甚者,他利用查税迫使企业接受价格冻结,但支持他的企业却趁机大做生意。他利用一批亲信助理进行统治。随著掌权而带来的私人财产暴增,这些财产的来源从未解释清楚。

In 2007 he stepped aside in favour of Ms Fernández. She seemed to offer a more consensual approach. But power remained with Mr Kirchner. He took formal charge of the ruling Peronist movement, routinely gave orders to ministers and oversaw economic policy. Around Buenos Aires posters went up preparing the way for his return in next year’s election, “to deepen the model”.

2007年,Néstor Kirchner站在一旁支持妻子Cristina Fernández角逐总统。她似乎与先生达成了默契,统治权仍由Néstor Kirchner掌舵。他正式登上执政的裴隆党全国主席,定期向各部会首长发号施令,并监督经济政策。布京周围已架起广告看板,为他明年大选再次角逐总统铺路,“强化夫妻轮流执政的模式”。

Ms Fernández is not just a figurehead. She was a senator for many years. But Mr Kirchner’s death leaves her bereft not just of her lifelong partner but of her chief political adviser. She will receive much public sympathy. How she will react to her bereavement is uncertain. Some political analysts in Buenos Aires believe she may seek to build bridges to the opposition, which deprived the Kirchners of their majority in Congress in an election last year. Others suggest that she may retreat to an inner circle in which Hugo Moyano, a thuggish union leader, is an increasingly prominent figure.

Cristina Fernández不只是名义上的总统,她担任参议员多年。但是,Néstor Kirchner的突然去世不仅让她失去了终身伴侣,更失去了在政治上的首席顾问。她肯定会得到很多民众的同情,如何应付丧夫之痛仍不确定。布京的一些政论家相信,她可能会设法与反对党建立联系,反对党曾在去年的国会改选夺走了Kirchner夫妇在国会的过半数席次。多数人建议她可以退回内部核心,让工会领袖Hugo Moyano日渐展露头角。

In any event power is likely to start slipping away from her. Argentina has a long tradition of caudillos (political bosses). Peronism, named after Juan Perón, the country’s archetypal caudillo of the 20th century, is an amorphous, corporatist movement that has swung both right (in the 1970s and under Mr Menem in the 1990s) and left (under the Kirchners) according to its leader of the day.

无论如何,权力很可能开始远离她而去。阿根廷长期以来有军人执政(caudillos)的传统。以Juan Perón命名的裴隆主义,二十世纪阿根廷典型的军人执政,是一种没有固定政治路线,完全因利益而结合的党派,根据当时的领导人在右派(1970年代,以及Carlos Menem执政的1990年代)与左派(Kirchner夫妇执政)之间摆荡。

The man to watch now is Daniel Scioli, the governor of Buenos Aires province, home to 40% of the electorate. A minister in Mr Duhalde’s government, he switched his loyalty to Mr Kirchner, becoming his vice-president and then his deputy within the Peronist movement. He was already showing signs of breaking with Mr Kirchner and of running himself next year. He has received overtures from a group of dissident Peronists around Mr Duhalde, who became Mr Kirchner’s most powerful foe.

现在要观察的人物是布省省长Daniel Scioli,布省选民占全国四成左右。他原来在Eduardo Duhalde政府担任部长,后来投效Néstor Kirchner阵营成为他的副总统,并出任裴隆党副主席。他已经展露要与Nestor Kirchner分裂的征兆,明年自己出马竞选总统。他接受了裴隆党内一群拥护Duhalde异议人士的建议,Duhalde早已成为Néstor Kirchner最具实力的政敌。

Mr Kirchner set great store by defying the IMF, which he blamed for the 2001 collapse. His boycott of the Fund made it expensive for Argentina to roll over its remaining debt. Instead, to raise funds, the government nationalised the pension system and siphoned off some of the Central Bank’s reserves.

Néstor Kirchner因公然反抗国际货币基金会(IMF)而累积政治资本,他谴责IMF要为阿根廷2001年经济崩盘负责。他抵制IMF,使得IMF因为阿根廷延期偿还欠债而损失惨重。但为了筹措资金偿债,阿根廷政府也将退休年金制收归国有,甚至要抽出中央银行的部分外汇准备金。

The economy is now growing fast, but inflation is high and the foundations are fragile. Ms Fernández, or her successor, is likely to lead Argentina back to more normal relations with the outside world. With Mr Kirchner’s death, the political era engendered by the chastening collapse of 2001 is drawing to a close.

阿根廷经济现在虽然快速成长,但通货膨胀偏高且基础脆弱。Cristina Fernández或她的继任者很可能要领导阿根廷返回与外界发展较正常的关系。由于Néstor Kirchner的去世,为了纾缓2001年经济崩盘而产生的政治时代正在画上句点。