What was your motivation to

sergio

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Let's not get off track...The question was what motivated expats to come here. Apparently some came here because they found the US under George Bush to be oppressive. I could buy that, to an extent. I just can't see how the politics of Argentina are better. Do expats think there is more justice here? If you hate Bush so much, why not go to Sweden or a progressive country in Europe that really respects human rights, gives its citizens good social services etc?
 

syngirl

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Sergio, you raise a good point -- however, most expats living in BA short term probably never feel directly affected by political or bureaucratic situations here -- especially if they are bringing their own funds into the country, living illegally on a tourist visa, and not looking to purchase property etc.
I find some of the things that have occurred in Argentina in the last year or so to be absolutely appalling -- ie the 2 or 3 cases that occurred wherein mentally disabled women were raped by family members. In Argentina abortion is supposed to be permitted in these cases, but a tribunal has to approve it. Well of course each time all they did was delay any decision until after the 22nd week of pregnancy has passed and then just throw up their hands and say "too late". It's disgusting.
I also find the fact that Kirchner's personal worth has grown by a rumored 3 or 4-fold since becoming president extremely disturbing -- I somehow don't think this is through wise investment and portfolio management :( Oh, and did you hear that he and his family were able to purchase large tracks of land in Patagonia before any public offering? Supposedly paid centavos on the hectare...
Let's not even get into Lopez and the Bonarense...
I won't be leaving Argentina any time soon since my boyfriend is from here and moving home is a huge process. So for us, rising costs or not, we will stay for at least 2 more years, probably more. What is killing me is not necessarily the cost of living here, it's the flights home -- my mother is getting older so I try to make it home at least once every 8months, and the flights are ridiculous -- and now a friend has decided at the last minute to get married this July, so there's yet another us$1200...
Basically I'm trying to have it all, which most immigrants don't -- most live with the fact that they will only see their family once every 2-3 years, whereas I'm trying to live in a fantasy where I will get home for a few weeks 2x a year :(
 

bigbadwolf

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"sergio" said:
The question was what motivated expats to come here. Apparently some came here because they found the US under George Bush to be oppressive. I could buy that, to an extent. I just can't see how the politics of Argentina are better. Do expats think there is more justice here? If you hate Bush so much, why not go to Sweden or a progressive country in Europe that really respects human rights, gives its citizens good social services etc?
Desirable countries are not easy to get into. It's fiendishly difficult for a non-EU citizen to migrate to any EU country. Unlike forty or fifty years ago, no prosperous EU country (Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, France) wants migrants unless they're loaded or bring specialised skills.
In addition, these countries typically have a higher cost of living than North America. Which allows me to segue to the point I want to make: Argentina is attractive because it is cheap. So is Peru for that matter, but Argentina offers a patina of European sophistication. It is this "vibrant culture" that migrants and extended-stay visitors emphasise with vigor -- if they don't claim to be refugees from the "Bush Gulag" up north -- when apparently it's not the done thing to say Argentina is cheap. Why did Argentina not attract droves of visitors ten years ago? After all, it was the same Argentina culturally. It was the relatively high cost of living, with an overvalued peso pegged at parity with the dollar.
As has been pointed out repeatedly, Argentina is not a safe place. Not merely in terms of crime, but also as a place to invest or keep money. This is precisely why Argentina's rich salt as much money as they can abroad: they have no faith in the country.
 

Granadaiscool

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Argentina lost all creditability when the put the D'Elia into the government. There is not a single other country in the world that would allow that(or the son of the president getting high on coke in a gay nightclub spending dollars)
Syncgirl, what´s your job in Argentina? Would you think tickets are expensive if you lived on a dollar salary?
 

sergio

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Syngirl: You know more about Argentine politics than most expats I've met. In addition to what you have mentioned, there are grave problems with the justice system, a lack of checks and balances (Kirchner has managed to usurp congressional budget powers, for example) and zero accountability. I have heard quite a few American expats say that they are "escaping Bush" etc. How amazing that they came to a country with a long history of abusing human rights! Badwolf: Most of the American expats here don't seem to be people who want Argentine citizenship or who plan to stay here forever so I don't see any reason why the Swedes, Finns etc wouldn't allow them into their countries for extended stays. You make an interesting point, though: expats come here because it is "cheap" - or was cheap! So you are saying that they would prefer a place like Sweden to Argentina but they can't afford it? Interesting theory.Granada: You are right about d'Elia. He is an open antisemite. Made a trip to Iran to show his support for a government that wants to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth. Kirchner's appointment of d'Elia and his support for another Iran supporter, Chavez, are causing concern about Kirchner's values. Have you noticed how his wife has been running to Caracas and New York to speak defensively before Jewish groups?
 

Granadaiscool

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Sergio, the things you mentioned happend after he was appointed to under minister(junior). He already had taken over a police station before with force
 

bigbadwolf

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"sergio" said:
Badwolf: Most of the American expats here don't seem to be people who want Argentine citizenship or who plan to stay here forever so I don't see any reason why the Swedes, Finns etc wouldn't allow them into their countries for extended stays. You make an interesting point, though: expats come here because it is "cheap" - or was cheap! So you are saying that they would prefer a place like Sweden to Argentina but they can't afford it? Interesting theory.
I think Americans get a 6-month "leave to remain" when they enter the UK, and perhaps this can be extended another three. I presume the same holds for other EU countries. But they're not cheap to stay in -- and work authorisation isn't forthcoming. Furthermore EU countries won't allow stay for years -- Argentina turns a blind eye towards this sort of semi-legal existence (i.e., where one's visa has expired).
I'm not sure Americans would like, say, Finland or Sweden: the winters are mostly dark, and there's quite a bit of snow. What I'm saying is there aren't that many options for permanent migration as far as safe, lawful, and prosperous countries go.
I can understand the appeal of Argentina for a single person in his or her twenties or thirties who has saved up, say, $25,000, and wants a break from it all. This sum can last a couple of years in Argentina. The climate is moderate; the night life good; opportunities for easygoing liaisons with the opposite sex manifold; and there's a patina of European culture. But of course the crucial ingredient is the affordability of the place.
 

Granadaiscool

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I can´t imagine that it´s hard to get a travel visa for the EU for a US citizen for a year. Right now over 20000 Americans live in Prague, about the same number as in Buenos Aires.
I have lived over a year in Granada in Spain and I would say it´s not more expensive or cheaper then living the same life in BA. And I imagine that life in Italy(outside the big cities) or Prague is not a lot more expensive as well.
Life in Dresden is surely a lot cheaper then in BA and you have a brilliant and cheap train-network to let´s say Leipzig, Berlin and Prague. Dresden itself is a really good city to live as well.
I would say that 25k gets you a year in Prague and Granada(6 and 6 and maybe even a few months in lets say Arezzo) and that I would always pick over a year in BA.
I can see that BA has a lot of things going for her, but I think there is no way in hell it can compete with Europe.
For me it´s different because I am from Europe and I know most of Europe, so (Latin) America has a big attraction for me.
 
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