Interview with an Argentinian psychologist and mother of Argentinian immigrant family.


Graciela García Moreno is an Argentinian psychologist whose career she doesn’t exercise in Spain nowadays  due to the crisis. I have talked to her in order to know a bit about her life and also about her point of view about  relationships between Argentina and Spain currently and also her opinion about similarities between the crisis that existed in Argentina and the current crisis in Spain, under the vision of a migrant who had to leave their country to look for a better future.

Estefanía Sánchez: For how long have you been living in Spain? What is your profession?

Graciela García: We are living in Spain for 21 years. My husband came to Spain in 1990 and then I came with my three daughters in 1991.

I am a practicing psychologist in Spain but currently I´m not working.

Estefanía Sánchez: What were the reasons to leave Argentina and immigrate to Spain?

Graciela García: The causes that led us to immigrate to Spain were the political and economic instability that was occurring in Argentina, we didn´t saw a good future for our children. These were the main reasons that motivated us to immigrate to Spain.

E.S: What was the situation in Argentina when he left the country?

G.G: When we left the country, it was a high inflation, lot of corruption and insecurity.

E.S: It is glad to have come to Spain? Why?

G.G: Absolutely, in fact,  we all love this country. We have set up our home here.

E.S: Why did you choose Spain?-What similarities and differences in lifestyle between the two countries?

G.G: My father was Spanish and my husband’s grandparents too, the language was tone important reason why we moved to Madrid. In addition, the economic growth and stability that Spain had at that time. But it is true that today, the crisis we are experiencing does not meet the expectations that motivated us to come. Nevertheless we are very happy to live here, but also very concerned about the economic situation we are living in Spain.

The main similarity is that both, the Spanish and Argentines, are latin, the character we have is more similar than other nationalities.

Surely about living in Buenos Aires and Madrid lifestyle is very different. But in my case, as we lived in a small town, it has been a great change, everything is more stressful, everything is much faster in every respect here.

E.S: What was the Argentinean “Corralito”?

G.G:  “Corralito” consisted that people who had savings in the banks could not remove. The banks seized their savings. This created great uncertainty in the country.

E.S: Under what conditions was the country when it happened?

G.G:  There was a financial crisis, capital flight due to political instability and economic life. Banks do not want to lose liquidity, and the government supported them through laws or decrees so that they could seize the money of the people.

E.S:  Do you think the “Corralito” that occurred in Argentina is going to happen in Spain due to the situation found in the last days?

G.G: I believe not, but alarms me greatly debates on television, involving journalists, economists … and talk about the risk of a “Corralito” and up to one pound. Even given dates in June or July I can’t  remember.

E.S: How you or your family lived the “Corralito”?

G.G:  We were here, but the situation was quite dramatic and our family was affected because they could not withdraw money. And when he returned the money lost much in change, had savings in dollars and gave to the Argentine peso devalued.

E.S:  In the past month it has been published news related to the expropriation of YPF by Argentine government, looks good such expropriation or change is in favor of  Repsol (the Spanish company)?

G.G:  I see very bad expropriation. First I think a total lack of seriousness. It is also government corruption that this is done by personal financial interests and deceives the Argentine saying it is a recovery of sovereignty, which is a populist politician who used to steal.

E.S:  And blocking import of Iberian Ham by Argentina, believes it is just the action taken by Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner?

G.G: This is another measure such as YPF, want him to see the Argentine people will do anything to regain their sovereignty and simultaneously pressure the Spanish government.

E.S:  What is the vision that has always been Argentina from Spain? Believes that this view has changed in recent times?

G.G:  Argentina’s vision of Spain has been changing. Once considered to Spain as the Motherland because most Argentines are of Spanish descent. But over time it really has changed, but personally not very reason, I really do not know.

E.S: Depending on your point of view, believes that relations between Argentina and Spain will gradually degrade?

G.G: I do not think the relationship between Argentina and Spain will degrade over time. I believe rather that they are actions of governments, not citizens. Relationships between Argentine and Spanish are more profound and long on history and not be affected by the arbitrary decisions.

E.S: Has thought of returning to Argentina some day? In the case of return, when?

G.G: Not the truth, you do not enter our plans on returning. Our life is here in Spain with our daughters.

By Estefanía Sánchez

Madrid, 8th May 2012

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