Argentina announces change in Economy and creation of super-ministry

Sergio Massa, current president of the Chamber of Deputies, will command the new portfolio

The President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, decided this Thursday (28.Jul.2022) to unify the Ministries of Economy, Productive Development and Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. O “super ministry” will be in charge of Sergio Massa, current president of the Chamber of Deputies.

“President Alberto Fernández has decided to reorganize the economic areas of his cabinet for better functioning, coordination and management”, said a statement from the Argentine presidency. Here is the full text (63 KB, in Spanish).

Sergio Massa announced that the current Minister of Economy of Argentina, Silvina Batakis, will continue in the government, but did not specify in what position. She even offered the Argentine president the resignation request, but Fernández did not accept.

The new minister said that on Monday (Aug 1) he will appoint the new management positions. The exchange took place 24 days after Silvina Batakis took over the ministry. after his predecessor, Martín Guzmán, resigned.

The former minister, allied with Fernández, lost support from Cristina Kirchner and was pressured by the vice president’s political group to leave office. When he announced his departure, he said he had “deep conviction and confidence” in its more moderate economic view.

Massa is a deputy for the Frente de Todos, the president’s party. He was Cristina Kirchnner’s chief of staff from 2008 to 2009, replacing Alberto Fernández. He returned to the party in 2019, when he was elected by the province of Buenos Aires to the Chamber.

He assumes the position at a time of economic and political crisis in the country. On July 14, Argentina recorded inflation of 64% in the 12 months through June and 5.3% for the month. The country must also implement structural reforms to meet O closed deal with the IMF (International Monetary Fund) in March 2022.

In addition, Alberto Fernández and Cristina Kirchner were the protagonists of moments of discord. She advocates greater intervention in the economy to mitigate the effects of the crisis on the lower-income population. Fernández has a more moderate attitude. Therefore, he has been losing power in the governing coalition.

Hours before the 2nd exchange of economy ministers, the Secretary for Strategic Affairs of the Presidency, Gustavo Béliz, resigned from his post. He was considered closest to Fernández. His departure means the loss of space for the wing linked to the Argentine leader.

Renounce

On the afternoon of this Thursday (July 28), the secretary of Strategic Affairs of Argentina, Gustavo Beliz, resigned from his position. According to the Argentine newspaper ClarinPresident Alberto Fernández accepted the resignation.

Beliz had been in the role since December 10, 2019. He was considered a trusted man by Fernández.

Also according to the newspaper, his departure may be related to the arrival of Massa to the government and the president’s negotiations with Cristina Kirchner.

PROTESTS

The economic situation has caused the population to carry out protests, in addition to farmerswhich also face diesel shortage and problems in Argentina supply chains.

Thousands of Argentine protesters gathered in the streets of the capital Buenos Aires this Thursday (July 28) to demand a universal basic salary and the universalization of social programs.

The protest was organized by leftist groups such as Unidad Piquetera, the MTE (Excluded Workers’ Movement) and the CTA (Central de Trabajadores de Argentina) in Buenos Aires. It started at 10 am in various parts of the city.

Some protesters gathered in front of the Ministries of Social Development, Labor and Justice. Others focused on the Obelisk, the capital’s historic monument. At around 1:30 pm, protesters headed to Plaza de Mayo, in downtown Buenos Aires.

They demand a universal salary to help the most vulnerable of 20,000 pesos (approximately R$795.20, at this Thursday’s quotation). They also want an increase in the minimum wage for retirees to 100,000 pesos (R$3,976.00 at the current rate).

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Protesters gathered at the Obelisco in Buenos Aires call for an increase in the minimum wage and freedom of union democracy

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