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Argentina's Boudou Says His Nazi Gas Chamber Metaphor Was `Inappropriate'

Argentine Economy Minister Amado Boudou said his statement comparing two local journalists to Nazi gas chamber workers was an “inappropriate metaphor.”

“I made an inappropriate metaphor in a context of a dialogue with the reporters,” Boudou said during an interview on Buenos Aires-based C5N television channel today after meeting with Aldo Donzis, head of the Argentine Delegation of Jewish Associations, at the group’s building in Buenos Aires.

Donzis met with Boudou over comments the minister made to reporters from Clarin and La Nacion on Oct. 8 in Washington.

“You are like those who cleaned up the gas chambers under the Nazis,” Boudou said, according to both newspapers. “If you don’t want to be accomplices, you should quit and not work any longer in those companies,” Clarin quoted him as saying.

Boudou made the comments after reporters’ questioned him about an International Monetary Fund request for Argentina to let it carry out a so-called Article IV consultation, which is an annual review of every member country’s economic policies and data. The government has refused to let the IMF conduct the audit of South America’s second-biggest economy since 2006. The newspapers said that the IMF may sanction Argentina for resisting the monitoring.

Today, Boudou said that the Argentine newspapers had been wrong in saying that the refusal to allow the IMF’s review would result in sanctions for the country.

Criticism of Newspapers

“Newspapers Clarin and La Nacion spent five days saying in their front pages that Argentina would be sanctioned, and that didn’t happen,” Boudou said in the interview with C5N television channel. “They give an anti-Argentine treatment to all the subjects and say lies that then never happen.”

The Buenos Aires-based Jewish News Agency cited Donzis as saying before the meeting that Boudou’s remark “profoundly offended the memory of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, and trivializes the Holocaust.”

Boudou’s spokesman didn’t return telephone messages seeking comment.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government has accused Clarin and La Nacion of bias in their reporting, and has also asked courts to review the purchase of newsprint producer Papel Prensa SA by the newspapers’ owners during the country’s military dictatorship in 1976.

Last year, Fernandez sponsored the introduction of a law that requires media companies including Grupo Clarin SA, the owner of Clarin, to sell some assets.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eliana Raszewski in Buenos Aires at eraszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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