Argentina: President Macri’s reelection will hinge on economic rebound

President of Argentina Mauricio Macri
A 2018 run on the peso forced President Macri to turn to the IMF for help. The economic rescue has come with conditions that are especially tough in an election year (source: dpa)
  • Argentina’s reformer president Mauricio Macri chose a gradualist approach to sorting out the economic mess left by his Peronist predecessor
  • His calculations that Argentina could return to growth quickly by regaining the financial markets’ trust and attracting investment failed to work
  • Mr. Macri’s bid for reelection hangs under a cloud of IMF-mandated austerity, but the opposition is held hostage by his unelectable predecessor

When Mauricio Macri was elected Argentina’s president a little more than three years ago, his victory was met with enthusiasm both in and outside the country. It had become apparent that the previous Peronist government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was driving the country toward economic and geopolitical disaster. Its public finances were in shambles, with fixed capital and foreign exchange controls. The international capital market was closed to Argentines and rumors of vast corruption filled the pages of the nation’s newspapers. The national statistical institute was forbidden from publishing official data: only Ms. Kirchner’s control over the nation’s money-printing presses kept the merry-go-round going.

Mr. Macri started with a weak hand: he eked out a narrow electoral victory and his political coalition, Cambiemos, did not have a majority in the Congress nor political control of most of the country’s provinces. Nonetheless, a predominant view was that the new president was reorienting the country in the right direction and that everything would work out eventually. Indeed, the leader accumulated much goodwill during the first months of his administration – around the world and, most importantly, among lenders in the international capital market. His somewhat shaky political position, however, has had consequences.

Not a subscriber yet?

Subscribe now and get the latest in-depth geopolitical analysis and forecasts from GIS’s unrivaled cadre of experts.

Learn more about our subscription plans.

You can also buy this report for €8.99 Buy

Add your comment