400 messages and a red-hot chat: the day after after a controversial dismissal in Agriculture


The former national director of Agricultural Commercial Control Marcelo Rossi

Marcelo Rossi, the fired official of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Nation who was in charge of the National Directorate of Agricultural Commercial Control, fell a barrage of messages of support: received more than 400 between WhatsApp and via Twitter after he told that, “without an argument” and in an “inexplicable” way as he defined it in that social network, a second-line official of Minister Luis Basterra had told him last Friday night that they were dispensing with his services.

But, in addition to that cataract of messages, there was another fact: the issue of Rossi’s departure was informally discussed within a chat group of those who make up the Mesa de las Carnes, which represents the entire chain of the sector. There several proposed to have a face-to-face meeting with the now former official, but the move fell through. Some fear an angry Agriculture, who found out on the spot of that attempt.

Rossi has been in office since 2016. He arrived when Ricardo Buryaile was Minister of Agroindustry for Mauricio Macri. Before that, he had another stage between 2000 and 2007 as president of the former National Office of Agricultural Commercial Control. He left because of a fight with Guillermo Moreno, former Secretary of Commerce, for the compensation that began to be applied at that time. The exOncca, even with Ricardo Echegaray, became an organization that said who could sell abroad via export permits known as ROE. It was also involved in a scandal over compensation to trout companies.

According to the versions, Rossi was removed because the Government wants to advance on greater control of food companies from the Single Registry of the Agroindustrial Chain (RUCA), a spring that the former official controlled. Being or not in the RUCA and being suspended implies the difference between working or not. Other versions indicate a possible attempt to reverse a resolution that today only allows meat-related cooperatives to provide a beef slaughter service, not to also supply the market with meat. The interpretation is that the Government would seek to push that limit.

“Firing Marcelo Rossi from RUCA heralds the return of the worst practices of Kirchnerism. An official who honored the position and who we had the privilege of being part of our team,” said Luis Miguel Etchevehere, former Minister of Agriculture, on his Twitter account. .

Etchevehere was one of those who called Rossi to show solidarity for his departure. So did Alberto José Fantini, general secretary of the Federation of the Meat Industry. The unionist, as admitted in the union, regretted his departure since they consider that he did a good job in the organization. Entrepreneurs in the sector also contacted Rossi, all in the same line of regretting his departure from the position.

“It is an example of a public servant who made a brutal advance in control (due to informality in the sector),” said David Lacroze, former coordinator of the Mesa de las Carnes. Rossi made them put the slaughterhouse controllers to control evasion.

Regarding the Table of Meat, as he was able to reconstruct THE NATION, On Saturday morning, hours after Rossi’s departure was made public, messages of support for the former official began to pour into a WhatsApp group of business leaders.

Even, Several referents of the chain directly proposed that he be invited to a next face-to-face meeting. “He was always radical (Rossi’s partisan origin), a very good official, helpful to the private sector and very played,” said someone who witnessed the exchange in the WhatsApp group about the former director of Agricultural Commercial Control.

As it transpired, later outside the WhatsApp group, some members considered that the move could upset the Ministry of Agriculture, especially when the Mesa de las Carnes itself must continue to speak with the Government on issues in the sector. Moreover, some say that almost immediately Agriculture learned of this initiative from some members of the group. Specifically, beyond the chat exchange, no public pronouncement was made from the Table nor would it be.

In a report with La Red, Julián Echazarreta, who had been working as Secretary of Agriculture and left the Ministry on the same day as Rossi, said that he does not know the reason for the removal of the former head of agricultural commercial control. “He is a first-line collaborator, he is a quality, correct and honest official. I don’t know why they asked him to leave.” Meanwhile, Echazarreta left for reasons that he attributed to his age and the high demand of the position in those circumstances.

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