Argentine President pays ‘fine’ over lockdown party

Argentine President Alberto Fernández has made a large donation as part of a deal to end an investigation into a lockdown party he and his wife hosted.

The couple came under investigation after photos emerged showing them having a birthday dinner attended by about a dozen people while lockdown measures were in force.

At the time, public gatherings, including funerals, were banned.

The photos caused outrage and caused the president’s popularity to plummet.

A judge agreed to the offer by the president and First Lady Fabiola Yáñez to donate three million pesos ($25,000; £20,000) in exchange for the case against them to be dropped.

Prosecutors had stipulated that the amount donated should be the equivalent of a respiratory machine and a stay in intensive care in hospital. The money will go to a vaccine research institute. Originally, President Fernández had argued that there had been no breach because no one caught Covid as a result of the dinner party. But as public anger over the dinner party grew, he struck a more apologetic note, saying: “I realise [the birthday dinner] shouldn’t have happened, I’m sorry that it did, and it won’t happen again.”



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