Argentina to start 2015 with lapdogs, dollar reserves flying high

Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:12pm EST
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By Hugh Bronstein

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's dollar reserves and the country's notoriously spoiled lapdogs will both be flying high as 2015 gets underway, according to President Cristina Fernandez, even if the economy remains a mess.

The two-term leader focused her year end statement on her Toy Poodle, Lolita, and the fact that recent government efforts to reverse a decline in reserves had worked.

On the president's Facebook page [], the white-furred pooch sits prettily in the arms of Fernandez as they fly off on presidential plane Tango 01 for a New Year's break in Patagonia. In January she said passengers on state-owned Aerolineas Argentinas, the country's largest carrier, will also be allowed to bring small pets on board.

"Careful! I said only small pets," the post says. "Don't try to board with a 50 kilo mastiff. Lolita only weighs two kilos."

The post got more than 36,000 'likes'. Lapdogs are a status symbol in Argentina, dressed sometimes in fitted sweaters emblazoned with colors of their owners' favorite soccer club.

"And oh yes, I almost forgot, we've come to $31.4 billion in central bank reserves," the post goes on, marking a 2.7 percent rise during the year.

Wall Street had predicted a reserves crisis when Argentina entered its latest round of defaults in July.

"Remember the newspaper headlines announcing a drop in reserves and all the other catastrophes that were forecast for the end of this year?"   Continued...