What Will Alberto Fernández's Gov't Bring Argentina?
Alberto Fernández took office as president on Dec. 10, bringing Peronism back to power in Argentina. What can Argentines expect from Fernández as president? What do Fernández’s cabinet picks say about the direction his government is likely to take? How much will his policies differ from those of the previous administration, and does Fernández have the right plans to address Argentina’s economic woes?
Andrés Malamud, senior research fellow at the University of Lisbon’s Institute of Social Science: “In the last 36 years, Argentina boasted eight presidents and 21 economy ministers. These figures convey one success and one failure. The success is democracy: Argentine presidents, whom generals used to oust at gunpoint, are now ousted by the people at the ballot box. The failure is, well, the economy: with poverty rate of more than 35 percent and inflation at 55 percent, growth prospects look dim, and development, illusory. The combination of success and failure makes up for a sort of Argentine miracle: how is it possible that such a dismal economic performance has not eroded democratic stability? A possible, worrying answer is: not yet. Fernández’s cabinet picks show how aware he is of the ticking bomb he has sat upon. His most urgent task is to renegotiate an unpayable foreign debt, lest there should be another sovereign default. Fittingly, he appointed as minister of the economy a young expert in debt restructuring that has worked closely to Joseph Stiglitz. Also, he must prevent a social explosion by rapidly restarting growth or, at least, domestic consumption. To this end, he has appointed his closest economic aide as minister of production, while at the same time establishing cushion networks with churches and social organizations. Finally, he must…”Read More
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