Argentina's Fernandez eases back to presidential duties after surgery: government

BUENOS AIRES Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:14am EST

A woman waits next to signs in support of Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez outside the hospital where she had surgery in Buenos Aires October 8, 2013. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

A woman waits next to signs in support of Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez outside the hospital where she had surgery in Buenos Aires October 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Marcos Brindicci

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BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine President Cristina Fernandez resumed her duties on Monday though her agenda was confined to meetings with senior officials after recuperating from brain surgery the past five weeks, her office said.

The president had surgery on October 8 to remove blood that had pooled on the surface of her brain. She has not made an official public appearance or speech since then.

Fernandez is scheduled to meet on Monday with Secretary General Oscar Parrilli, Cabinet Chief Jan Manuel Abal and Vice President Amado Boudou in the president's official residence, Los Olivos.

Her government faces the threat of renewed protests from farmers who say government policies are hurting their profits, high inflation, rising crime, an over-valued currency and dwindling foreign reserves.

Her absence has been conspicuous in a country accustomed to her centralized leadership style and frequent speeches.

Fernandez's supporters suffered heavy losses in mid-term elections on October 27 that ended her chances of securing a change to the constitution that would enable her to run for a third term in 2015.

She has not yet been cleared for air travel and is scheduled for another medical check-up on December 9.

(Reporting by Guido Nejamkis; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Philip Barbara)

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