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The old policy is synonymous with Greater Buenos Aires. Patronage, mafias, corruption, poverty, insecurity, serious inadequacies in infrastructure are a palpable reality there. The new politics will not be born in Argentina, the democratic institutions will not be strengthened, as long as the archaic power structures that reign beyond General Paz are not disarmed.

Stephen Bullrich, who resigned his seat in the Senate and moved Argentines with his example of integrity and his republican virtues, has made a proposal to attack this serious problem. In his book Una Nueva Buenos Aires, he proposes dividing the province into five provinces: Province of Bs. As. del Norte, with capital in San Nicolás; Province of Buenos Aires del Sur, with capital in Bahía Blanca; Province of Bs. As. Atlántica, with capital in Mar del Plata, and two provinces resulting from the division of the current conurbation: Province of Luján, with the districts of the north and northwest of Greater Bs. As. (to which add other adjoining districts, Pilar and Luján) and Province of Río de la Plata, with the districts of the south and southwest of Gran Bs. As. (to which other adjoining districts and La Plata are added.)

This division is complemented by the creation of two great regions: the Bs. As. region, which includes the Pcias. de Bs. As. del Norte, del Sur y Atlántica, that is, what we today call the interior of the Province of Bs. As. and the Federal Urban region, which includes CABA plus the provinces of Luján and Río de La Plata, that is, the sum of the current conurbation and other adjoining districts (among which Pilar, Luján and La Plata stand out), plus CABA. The book recalls that the regions are not divisions with political autonomy since the three powers of the Constitution remain at the provincial level: “The purposes of the region are limited only to the areas of economic and social development.”

A first evaluation could ask if it is reasonable to dismember the interior of the province in three provinces since history, culture and productive structure do not represent a problem. The problem is the suburbs. And here the solution is to divide it into two provinces, but which absorb several neighboring parties, creating two provinces with more than six million inhabitants each. To them is added the CABA in an expanded region of what is the current AMBA (metropolitan area of ​​Buenos Aires). In this sense, the AMBA has not been effective in its actions because it has very heterogeneous areas and with different political signs. It is not clear what advantage would be obtained with the proposed macrostructure, which also preserves all the current administrations, permanent foci of resistance to change.

There is an alternative to balance the political weight of Greater Buenos Aires, which consists of federalizing the first cordon of the suburbs, expanding the jurisdiction of the Federal Capital. This expansion is part of the historical destiny of Buenos Aires. In 1880, after the defeat of the rebellion of the porteños who followed Tejedor against the national forces of Roca, the expansion of the city of Buenos Aires to its current limits was determined, including what were the towns of Flores and Belgrano. Such was the vision of those statesmen who marked the current route of Av. Gral. Paz as the limit of the new capital of the country. That magnificent vision has been sustained until now with increasing difficulties, but it has run out and is insufficient to meet the demands of the AMBA.

Therefore, the time has come to propose a new expansion of the capital border. It is proposed to expand the jurisdiction of CABA, which would include all of Vicente López (5 km from General Paz Avenue), San Martín (without the town of José León Suárez), almost the entire district of Tres de Febrero, and Morón (without the towns of Morón and Castelar); the three parties at an average distance of 7 km from General Paz Avenue. It would also include a 5 km zone from La Matanza (including the towns of Ramos Mejía, San Justo, La Tablada, Aldo Bonzi, Tapiales). In the southern area, it would include the district of Lomas de Zamora, except for the towns of Llavallol, Temperley and Turdera, and all of Lanús and Avellaneda (at an average distance of 10 km from the Riachuelo).

According to the 2010 census, this new urban area would incorporate approximately 2,750,000 people, the equivalent to the 2,890,000 of the CABA. This figure would be subtracted from the population of 9,900,000 people who held the 24 districts of the suburbs, leaving two more balanced metropolitan areas at the demographic level. It would imply adding an average of 4 railway stations and the suppression of 7 parties: Vicente López, San Martín (the remainder could be absorbed by San Isidro), Tres de Febrero (the remainder absorbed by Hurlingham), Ituizangó (which would be incorporated into the remaining de Morón as the new Morón party), Lomas de Zamora (the remainder would go to Almirante Brown), Lanús and Avellaneda.

This proposal would significantly reduce the political and administrative bureaucracy of the political parties. absorbed by CABA. The CABA would be responsible for completing the integration of the new annexed area, promoting culture and the economy, which are its outstanding factors. For this, it has human and material resources. And it would be faithful to its historical mission of contributing to the progress of its neighbors.

Among other benefits, the Riachuelo would become the exclusive responsibility of the people of Buenos Aires and the management of transportation, waste, the lower fiscal costs of the CABA and infrastructure works would be extended to the incorporated parties. To promote this federalization, Peronism would have the incentive of having a more propitious electorate in the new CABA, while the opposition parties should bet on the beneficial effects of civic education and rejection of patronage imposed by the cultural tradition of Buenos Aires.

We must thank Esteban Bullrich for putting this necessary debate on the table, which is conducive to contributing ideas and seeking consensus. With this collaborative spirit, in my opinion, faced with the proposal to create a Federal Urban region of unmanageable proportions and uncertain political administration, the extension of the CABA would be a first step in the direction of reducing costly and artificial structures. Today the first cordon of the suburbs is in a position to integrate with CABA to the extent that the vision of the men of the 1980s and their political decision to do so exist. Whatever the partisan speculation, a more extensive CABA is a guarantee of passion for progress, culture and political plurality, that is, a fundamental pillar for Argentina to finally enter the 21st century with conviction.

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