BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — (AP) — Bothered by a Greek reporter's repeated requests to release Argentina's true inflation rate, Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino interrupted an interview, saying the issue is too "complex" to explore and telling an aide "I want to leave."
A video of the interview surfaced Tuesday and quickly became the talk of Argentine social networks. On Twitter, the hashtag (hash)mequieroir ((hash)iwanttoleave) was constantly retweeted, and the video of the visibly uncomfortable minister played repeatedly on Argentine television news stations that aren't aligned with the government. Someone even put his voice to a cumbia beat, mashed it up with the Peronist March and posted the music video on YouTube.
Lorenzino didn't respond to the display of dark Argentine humor at his expense. His press office told The Associated Press that the ministry had no reaction, and his Twitter account was quiet.
Lorenzino granted the interview in his ministry headquarters to Eleni Varvitsiotis late last year, but the Greek channel Skai TV didn't broadcast it until Tuesday, as part of a documentary comparing Argentina's 2001 economic crisis to the situation in Greece.
Private economic analysts have said Argentina's consumer prices rose about 26 percent in 2012, more than twice the 10.8 percent published by the government's inflation index, whose accuracy has been publicly rejected by the International Monetary Foundation.
"I have a very simple question for you, which seems very complicated these days: How much is Argentine inflation at this moment?" she asked.