Argentina’s finance minister, Martín Guzmán, announced his resignation on Saturday. The 39-year-old economist throws in the towel in the middle of a serious economic crisis. Guzmán’s resignation is another achievement of the Cold War, raging within the Argentine governing coalition.
Guzmán was the architect behind Argentina’s agreement in March with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on debt restructuring. The deal involved an amount of nearly $ 45 billion (about $ 43 billion). This was a legacy of a $ 57 billion loan taken out in 2018 by the previous government.
In recent years, however, Guzmán has been confronted with a devaluation of the national currency – the peso – against the US dollar, inflation of around 60 percent and protests from farmers and social movements.
Lack of support
He also struggled with lack of political support in the government. Supporters of Vice President and former head of state Cristina Kirchner have repeatedly criticized Guzmán for the deal with the IMF. The controversial agreement was successfully piloted through the Argentine Congress, but led to the dissolution of the ruling coalition in the Argentine House of Representatives. Maximo Kirchner (son of Cristina Kirchner) even resigned as party leader in protest of the deal.
In addition, Guzmán fought for a long time in vain to lower energy subsidies to consumers. Due to rising prices, they demanded an increasing share of the budget. However, the grants are popular with the poor, including many supporters of Vice President Kirchner.
Despite the criticism, Guzmán was one of the longest-serving finance ministers in Argentina. He lasted exactly 935 days.
common sense marriage
Despite opposition from the opposition and internal strife, Guzmán was one of the longest-serving finance ministers in Argentina. He lasted exactly 935 days. The many economic and political crises make the post of minister a major challenge for even the most experienced politicians and economists.
Guzmán announced his departure on Twitter Saturday night, just as the vice president was giving a speech to his supporters. She had not been notified in advance, unlike the president.
The minister was considered a close confidant by President Alberto Fernández. But the president and vice president fundamentally disagree on how to tackle the (economic) problems in the country. This fight is openly fought through the media and street protests.
The occasional coalition that won the 2019 election has been seen as a marriage of convenience from day one. But relations between the candidates deteriorated after the midterm elections in November 2021, when the government lost a majority in the Argentine Congress. Vice President Kirchner holds President Fernández accountable for it.
It is customary for ministerial posts to be examined after a disappointing election. But it is more and more remarkable that the resigning ministers are generally from the Fernández camp. Less than a month ago, the Minister of Production also resigned – one of the heaviest posts in government. As a result, the president seems more and more isolated in his own government.
In his farewell letter, Guzmán writes that it is “absolutely necessary” to reach a political agreement within the governing coalition on his legacy. “It will help my successor to continue the pursuit of economic and social progress with the necessary political support.”
This is what President Fernandez told the Argentine newspaper La Nacion on Sunday to decide who will be the new minister.
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