Argentinian President, Cristina Kirchner, has been accused of deliberately stoking international tensions over the Falkland Islands in an attempt to mask her government's domestic failings.

Kirchner has made headlines both here and in Argentina over her demands for Britain to recognise Argentina's sovereignty over the South Atlantic islands.

Britain has continuously stressed that the islands will remain British.

cristina kirchner

Kirchner is using the Falkland Islands to mask negative domestic issues

Only a third of the islanders themselves identify themselves as British but none identify themselves as Argentinian.

Britain retains a strong military presence and highly visible exercises were carried out as recently as last week.

The Argentinian economy has slowed dramatically this year and inflation has soared to 24%, the highest of all the South American nations.

Thousands of people took to the streets last month to protest against the financial malaise as well as perceived government corruption and spiralling violent crime.

A government source told the The Daily Telegraph that Kirchner knew her posturing over the islands was 'futile' but it helps to hide negative headlines at home.

"She just wants to ruffle a few feathers," the source said.

Despite a landslide election victory last year Kirchner's approval ratings have slumped to just 24 per cent.

Polls indicate a slight surge in popularity whenever she invokes the nationalist sentiments that Argentinians feel over the Falkland Islands meaning she is unlikely to stop using such tactics.

Mario Menéndez, an Argentine Falklands War general, told The Daily Telegraph: "The islands are being used for political ends."

The situation is reminiscent of the lead-up to the Falklands War in 1982. The then-ruling military junta used the issue of Falkland Island sovereignty to mask poor the country's poor economic performance eventually invading and sparking a conflict that claimed the lives of 908 people.