The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, made effective the possession of Sergio Massa, the new “super minister” of Economy, who became the third holder of this portfolio in a month. He will be in charge of taking charge of battered finances, with year-on-year inflation reaching 64% in June. After his inauguration, he announced the adoption of measures through the strengthening of reserves and a fiscal adjustment through the increase in tariffs and the curb on the monetary issue.
The Bicentennial Museum of the Government House, in Buenos Aires, was the scene in which the Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, took the oath of the brand new Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa.
“We are beginning a stage of the Government that I am convinced that we are going to go through successfully. For that I summoned Sergio, whose ability and courage I know and I am sure he will do very well,” said the Argentine president during the decision. possession of the new finance manager.
Massa, a lawyer by profession, assumed the powers of “super minister” and will be in charge of managing issues such as finance, agriculture, production and the relationship with multilateral organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, issues that were previously disaggregated.
Fernández added that this “is a time for everyone” to join “efforts to get ahead,” in reference to all the political forces and sectors that make up the productive and economic fabric of the nation.
Massa, at the head of the Renovador Front, the third political force of the Frente de Todos, the ruling party, is the successor of Silvina Batakis, who barely spent three weeks in office, in the heat of tensions in the government coalition between Peronism aligned with Alberto Fernández and the Kirchnerist sector, led by Vice President Cristina Fernández.
The “superminister” has already announced the first measures to move the economy forward
Sergio Massa, who takes the reins of a battered economy, will have to face, among other things, runaway inflation, which in year-on-year terms this June reached 64%. Although the general picture is somewhat better than it was five years ago, fiscal imbalances and the reduction of the primary deficit will also be priority tasks.
The debt refinancing agreement reached last March with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seeks to correct this monetary instability, which has systematically taken Argentines to the streets to demand truly effective solutions.
To meet these challenges, the new “super minister” used his first press conference after his inauguration to announce the framework lines of his roadmap, showing himself to be particularly harsh against the increase in prices, which is expected by the end of year can rise by more than 70%.
“We have to face inflation with determination because it is the main factory of poverty that any country faces,” said Massa, who also stressed that “fiscal order” is the essential solution to control public spending and increase confidence. .
The Minister of Economy also promised to meet the budget deficit target of 2.5%; to not use Treasury advances for the rest of 2022 and to freeze new hiring in the public sector.
Massa also showed his explicit support for the agreement reached with the IMF for the restructuring of the 44,000 million dollars of debt that the Argentine State has with the issuer and reaffirmed his commitment to comply with the agreed payments.
Regarding energy issues, the minister confirmed the increase in electricity and gas rates with the aim of reducing energy subsidies and pointed out that under his management he will promote the search for greater investments in sectors such as mining, hydrocarbons and agribusiness.
Another of the proposed measures is to increase the reserves of the Central Bank through exports in sectors such as fishing, agriculture or mining. For this, they will be offered a special bonus. In addition, he confirmed that the Executive will launch a voluntary swap of debt maturities in pesos in the next three months.
On the other hand, Massa announced the audit of the social spending plans that the State disburses to the most vulnerable sectors of society. Along these lines, a bonus was announced for older adults with income reduced by inflation and he said that he will soon meet with unions and employers to develop an effective mechanism that allows recovering income from the primary sector in the face of rising costs.
In the midst of the clashes in the government coalition, for many the appointment of Massa and his ambitious proposals are the last breath to try to save the Government of Alberto Fernández and the economic drain that has greatly diminished his popularity. All this one year before the presidential elections.
With EFE and Reuters