* Spokesman says president in "very good mood"
* No complications in surgery, recovering in intensive care
* Combative leader sidelined ahead of Oct. 27 primary vote
By Hugh Bronstein
BUENOS AIRES, Oct 8 Argentine President Cristina
Fernandez had successful surgery on Tuesday to remove blood from
the surface of her brain and is expected to make a full
recovery, a government spokesman said.
Her conditioned, diagnosed on Saturday, has nonetheless
sidelined the sharp-tongued, two-term leader ahead of a key
mid-term election and at the apex of a rancorous court battle
with the nation's "holdout" creditors.
"She is in a very good mood," spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro
The president's medical team issued a statement saying the
operation took place without complications and that Fernandez
was recovering in the intensive care unit of the Fundacion
Favaloro hospital, where the surgery took place.
Fernandez' condition, described as a subdural hematoma,
came from hitting her head when she took a fall in August. The
operation involved draining blood that had pooled between the
brain and the skull.
Fernandez, known for micro-managing her cabinet, is likely
to pick up the reins of state as soon as she can, even if it
from a hospital bed. Vice President Amado Boudou cut short a
planned visit to Brazil and France to return to Argentina during
the weekend and take over Fernandez's public duties for now.
On Saturday Fernandez, 60, was told to rest for a month due
to her condition but on Monday plans for the surgery were
announced after she complained of tingling in her left arm.
Supporters, some carrying signs that said "Hang In There
Cristina" and "The Country Is With You," gathered outside the
"She sends greeting to all of you and would like to thank
you and her medical team," Scoccimarro said from the hospital
The hematoma appeared at a sensitive time for the Fernandez
administration. Argentines are increasingly unhappy about
double-digit inflation and government-imposed currency controls
that have clamped down on access to U.S. dollars as part of an
effort to halt capital flight.
Her policies promote economic growth at the cost of consumer
prices increases clocked by private economists at 25 percent per
year, one of the highest inflation rates in the world.
Fernandez had her thyroid glands removed last year after she
was diagnosed with cancer, although later tests indicated no
cancer was present. Her late husband, former President Nestor
Kirchner, died from a heart attack in 2010.
When Fernandez became ill on Saturday she was in full
campaign mode, making speeches on behalf of allies running in
the Oct. 27 mid-term primary, which will determine whether her
coalition keeps control of Congress during her final two years
as leader of the grains-exporting powerhouse.
Fernandez, first elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2011 on
promises of greater state intervention in Latin America's No. 3
economy, also is embroiled in a legal battle against holdout
bond investors who declined to participate in Argentina's 2005
and 2010 debt restructurings and are suing for full repayment.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a
preliminary appeal filed by Argentina in the case, which could
go on for another year after more than a decade of bouncing
around the U.S. federal courts.
World markets are watching the case for the implications it
might have on future sovereign debt restructurings.
The International Monetary Fund has voiced fear that if
Argentina is forced to pay the holdouts the $1.3 billion they
are demanding, it would make it more difficult for cash-strapped
countries to renegotiate their bond obligations.