Transition in Argentina: Macri invites Alberto Fernandez to breakfast Monday morning at Government House
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The victory of Alberto Fernández’s presidential campaign puts an end to the pro-business economic policies of Macri’s administration and a return to power of the ex-president Cristina Fernández
Cristina Fernández served as president from 2007 to 2015. By the time she left office, she was entangled in a string of court cases involving accusations of bribery, money laundering, treason, corruption and allegations that she had helped cover up Iran’s involvement in a terrorist bombing that prosecutor was investigating. Worst this prosecutor Alberto Nisman was murdered as a “direct consequence” of his accusations against her and other high-ranking officials of her administration. Most of these cases are still ongoing. She, of course, denies any wrongdoing.
Argentine President Mauricio Macri conceded defeat in Sunday’s presidential election, congratulating rival Alberto Fernandez on winning the election.
“I want to congratulate president elect Alberto Fernandez with whom I have just talked”, said Macri from his reelection campaign headquarters, adding he had invited his rival for breakfast Monday morning at government house, Casa Rosada.
”We must always put the country’s interests above all, and that is what I will be doing from tomorrow (Monday)“, underlined Macri. ”We need an orderly transition and transmit calm to all Argentines; we will keep working from the opposition, an honest, healthy opposition, constructive and responsible“.
The winning ticket of Alberto Fernandez and ex president Cristina Fernandez managed 48% of the vote while Macri’s frustrated reelection bid 41%, which anyhow consolidates Macri as head of the opposition particularly since he was able to cut by half the difference of the August PASO primaries
Under Argentine law 45% of valid votes is enough to be elected president or 40% and a ten point difference over the runner up.
The incoming government not only faces a polarized country almost in halves, but also an economy in deep trouble. Since August when the catastrophic primaries for the ruling coalition of business friendly Macri, ”Let’s change“, the central bank has lost US$ 22 billion of its reserves in an attempt to keep the Argentine currency from collapsing vis-a-vis the US dollar. Inflation is running at an annualized 50% and GDP has dropped 3.5%.
Besides the new government has to address heavy debt commitments, and will be forced to refinance terms of an IMF accord, plus private creditors. In the domestic front, economic contraction has meant an increase in poverty levels, high unemployment and an overall recession. Rebuilding confidence in the markets and foreign investors becomes crucial.
In his victory speech to militants, Fernandez said that Macri is leaving on 10 December. ”We are going to collaborate and do everything possible so Argentines cease to suffer, hopefully our future opponents are aware of what they have left and are capable of understanding that Argentina needs the effort and commitment of all of us“.
But he also warned of tough times ahead and the need for government and opposition to reach a constructive understanding.
Elected vice-president Cristina Kirchner demanded that president Macri takes all the necessary measures to alleviate the current dramatic situation of Argentines, and ”and looks carefully after the assets of all Argentines”.
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