Is Argentina’s New President Handling the Pandemic Well?
New Argentine President Alberto Fernández’s approval ratings have soared amid his government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, surpassing 79 percent in three recent nationwide surveys, even as concerns of a deeper recession loom. Nearly 95 percent of those surveyed in a recent Analogías poll agree with the government’s strict quarantine measures. Why is Fernández seeing such strong approval ratings, and how much of the surge in popularity should be attributed to his coronavirus measures? Will the global recession undermine Fernández’s plans to get Argentina’s economy on a stronger footing? In the longer term, what will it take for Argentina to break out of its century-long struggle with boom-bust cycles and economic mismanagement?
Kezia McKeague, director at McLarty Associates: “President Fernández’s approval ratings saw an initial surge due to his government’s aggressive measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. He instituted a national lockdown with the full support of governors and of the opposition, particularly that of Buenos Aires Mayor Rodríguez Larreta, and has positioned himself through daily media appearances as a decisive and pragmatic manager focused on saving lives above all else. That said, some tensions have emerged in the last week, reviving Argentina’s traditionally polarized politics; Fernández’s recent critical comments of private-sector layoffs led to a pot-banging protest in favor of a reduction in public-sector salaries, and the poor handling of banks’ reopening for pensioners marred the government’s able management of the crisis to date. Nevertheless, for Fernández, there is a silver lining in the crisis that coincided with his 100th day in office…”Read More
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