http://www.sina.com.cn 2007年12月18日 14:43
At a packed ceremony in Argentina's Congress on December 10th, Néstor Kirchner gave his wife, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, a gift hitherto unknown in the history of marriage: his country's presidential sash and staff. In an improvised but fluent speech, she returned the compliment by lavishing praise on his achievements, and promising to consolidate them. She has kept many of her husband's ministers. But amid this seamless display of political continuity are hints of change ahead for Argentina.
Ms Fernández, although a former senator and experienced politician in her own right, owes her elevation to her husband's decision not to seek a second term. In that sense, her status as Argentina's first elected woman president is not quite the feminist victory it appears.
Buoyed by his popularity—the economy has expanded by nearly 50% since he took office in 2003—she coasted to victory in an election in October with the slogan “change is just beginning”. In foreign affairs, that may be true. She has also implied that she will be more respectful of Argentina's democratic institutions than her sometimes high-handed husband. Where Mr Kirchner seemed to relish confrontation, she ran as a consensus-builder.
Her biggest test will be the management of an economy that shows signs of overheating after its vigorous recovery from the financial collapse of 2001-02.