Silvina Patakis becomes Argentine Minister of Economy after Guzman’s resignation – 07/04/2022

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BUENOS AIRES, July 4, 2022 (AFP) – Silvina Patakis will be Argentina’s new economy minister to replace Martin Guzman, who is recognized for renegotiating Argentina’s debt, but influential Vice President Cristina Kirchner has come under fire at a time of deep crisis. Government.

The information was announced Sunday night in a message on Twitter from President Alberto Fernandez’s spokesman, the day after Guzmán’s sudden resignation in the context of a currency crisis, an inflation of 60% annually and a poverty rate of 37% of the population.

Patakis, the 53-year-old economist, was Buenos Aires Province’s economy minister between 2011 and 2015, and is close to the vice president. I worked in the Ministry of the Interior.

Patakis’ appointment came after two days of intense political negotiations, in the midst of a government crisis, with major differences between the president and vice president.

The new minister, born in Tierra del Fuego (south), studied economics at the University of La Plata and obtained a postgraduate degree at York University (UK).

Guzmán’s administration has been fiercely questioned within the ruling Todos Front coalition (centre-left Peroni), notably by Kirchner, who rejects fiscal adjustment measures put in place with the International Monetary Fund after a March debt refinancing of approximately US$44.5 billion.

In his resignation letter, Guzmán noted that internal disagreements had led him to step down.

Guzmán said in his resignation: “It will be necessary to work on a political agreement within the ruling coalition so that whoever replaces me (…) has a central management of macroeconomic policy tools.”

On this topic, the economist Diego Bosio opined that in addition to the name of the new economy minister, “what should happen is political peace, political order and political agreement.

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Just a week ago, the International Monetary Fund approved the first review of the $44.5 billion Extended Facility Program, corresponding to the first quarter of this year, and authorized the disbursement of $4.01 billion to the South American country.

However, in the following days, there were strong moves in the markets, both in debt securities and in the parallel exchange rate – Argentina has an official exchange rate and a parallel exchange rate, the “blue” dollar – and the country risks exceeding the index measured by JPMorgan 2500 a point.

Indeed, President Fernandez said this week that the Argentine economy is facing a “growth crisis”, which he attributed to a lack of foreign exchange.

In the first quarter, GDP grew 6% at the annual pace and the unemployment rate was 7%.

International reserves total $42.471 billion, but net reserves are much lower, according to analysts.

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