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La candidatura presidencial de Sarmiento

A lo largo del libro, se percibe como en la candidatura presidencial de Sarmiento, confluyen por un lado el proceso, por otro lado la voluntad y acción del protagonista y también las circunstancias e imponderables que siempre juegan un rol en el devenir político.  



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Argentine Political Outlook (Sep-10-18) PDF Imprimir E-Mail
Set-10-18, By Rosendo Fraga

1. In all realism, Macri said that three days of calm in the exchange market did not imply that the problems have been solved, but at least it seems there's a truce, that will try to politically tap. The exchange rate quietness of Thursday, Sep 6 and Friday, Sep 7, allowed to leave behind the political cost that paid for the disorderly attempt to reshuffle the cabinet that took place the previous weekend, which ended in frustration, without new ministers and reducing 12 Ministries to Secretaries of State, but without changing any official, nor cutting any expenses. He only included a friend of his trust like new Deputy Chief of Cabinet (Ibarra). Macri's priority now is to reach agreement with the governors around the budget, which he hopes to achieve on Tuesday, Sep 11. The IMF Board is expected to discuss the new Argentine proposal on Friday, Sep 14, and if approved - which is likely - as of Monday 17 the quarterly installments would be sent. As for the budget, if an agreement is reached this week, it would be submitted to Congress early next week. A new agreement with the IMF and the budget agreement would go in parallel. The triumph of Cambiemos in the municipal election of Marcos Juárez (Cordoba) is not an advance of the national election, but at least it raises the spirit of the official leadership. The political key to success in the new efforts before the IMF, has been in line with Trump's support, which was made became public. In the light of the Argentine government's effort to get bilateral support like Mexico in April 1994, the US President replied that such support would be absolute, "but through the IMF" as is happening. 

2. The agreement with the governors is underway and Macri is looking for a political gesture before the IMF Board votes on the Argentine proposal, rather than consensus on all points. On the same Tuesday, Sep 11, when the Executive-Governors agreement is expected to be brokered, the opposition in the Congress will try to question the parliamentary validation of the Decrees of Necessity and Urgency that eliminate the unfavorable zone in the southern provinces for the family allowances and dissolve the Soybean Fund. Among the Peronist governors two lines emerge; one is harder and is integrated by those of Formosa, Catamarca, San Luis, Santa Cruz, La Pampa and Tucumán, although the latter is more flexible. The negotiating position includes the governors of Córdoba, Salta, Chaco, Chubut, Misiones, San Juan, Tierra del Fuego, Entre Ríos and La Rioja. The fifteen of the PJ are joined by three like-minded "allies": Santiago, Río Negro and Neuquén. The socialist governor of Santa Fe, who has decided not to participate in the event to avoid "endorsing the tightening" is an opponent. The five ruling coalition governors (Buenos Aires, city of Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Jujuy and Corrientes) support the Executive branch, but the last three (Radicals) have their concerns. The Minister of Interior (Frigerio) has negotiated hard with the 24 provincial ministers of economy in recent days and has given in around the suspension of tax cuts and transfer of social fares to the provinces in order to reach an agreement. Macri will have the "photo" although the agreement leaves issues pending. 

3. Looting has been the government's second concern over the past week. The inflation of September might have a floor of 6% and the basic basket is expected to rise several points more. Last week, daily Clarín published that in June, July and August, the price of bread, noodles, yerba and oil had risen 100%. Looting -or pillaging- between the evening of Friday, August 31 and Monday, September 2, totaled between 21, including robbery attempts. There were 6 in Mendoza (3 in Greater Mendoza, 2 in Tupungato and one in San Rafael), 4 in Chaco (3 in Sáenz Peña and another in Villa Angela), another 4 in Buenos Aires (one in the suburbs, 2 in Mar del Plata and another in Olavarría), one in Chubut (Comodoro Rivadavia), 2 in Rio Negro, one in Jujuy and another in the city of Buenos Aires. They took place in a third of the provinces. A dozen policemen were wounded, the detainees reached 170 and a child was killed in a confused episode in the plundering attempts in Chaco, which lasted several hours. In the BA province, the looting of a small supermarket in Villa Pineral was carried out by 30 women holding little children. The government will seek to accelerate the distribution of food aid, to contain a problem that will surely be repeated. According to the Minister of Security, behind each event there was a pro-Kirchner supporter, something that was not proven in the records of the 170 detainees and the President considered them as isolated incidents without political connotation. 

4. But social tension grows in various sectors, which will become more evident in the second half of the month. The CGT confirms the general strike for September 25, having ruled out its anticipation, as proposed by sectors of the workers' confederation led by the triumvir that represents Moyano (Schmid). The most combative Peronist guilds led by the truck leader, plus the two CTAs, confirm their participation in the strike, but since the previous noon, with a demonstration to Plaza de Mayo. Social movements - moderate and hard - will also participate in the strike with road blockades and pot banging protests. They have been developing their own struggle plan, with the march they held towards Anses last week - they claim that the 1,200-peso bond given to the universal child allowance recipients as of this week, is the increase that corresponds by law and not a government assignment-, and continues this week with soup kitchens on 9 de Julio Avenue and march to Congress to request approval of the five bills they have submitted. As for the middle sectors, September 13 is the date for a national teachers' strike - university teachers agreed a 26% increase - coinciding with a new teachers strike in Buenos Aires province that takes place on Sep 12 and 13; the state unions (UPCN and Ate) will hold protests against layoffs in the sector and several demonstrations against the increase in utility bills are being organized. September will not be an easy month in terms of protests. But the government has managed to prevent farming sectors from launching protests over the withholding tax. 

5. To conclude: 

a)  Considering the progress made in the new talks with the IMF, the government managed to leave behind the political cost paid for the failed cabinet reshuffle and focused on the negotiation with governors. 

b)    The president will surely have his "photo" with the governors, although pending issues will remain, and it's not sure that the Budget will get to Congress next week. 

c)     Lootings have been a relevant issue, uncoordinated and with low or null political involvement, which could happen again as government might contain them by speeding up food distribution. 

d)    September will be a tough month in terms of social protest, with the general strike of CGT, the struggle plan of social movements, the teachers' strikes and the expressions over the utility bills.   

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