Argentine Economy Minister Martín Guzman resigns.

Buenos Aires. Argentine Economy Minister Martín Guzman unexpectedly announced his resignation on Twitter on Saturday evening. Just a few days ago, President Alberto Fernández assured him of his support, which surprised his resignation even more. However, his policy has long been severely criticized in the ruling coalition. His differences with Vice President Cristina Kirchner were an open secret. But even in the camp of Parliament President Sergio Massa (Frente Renovador), people were not satisfied with his policies.

The president himself was surprised by this news. The heir has not yet been named (Sunday evening). In his seven-page resignation letter, Guzman cited the lack of political support from part of the government as the reason for his decision and highlighted the achievements of his ministry. He was due to travel to Europe on Monday to negotiate with the representatives of the Parisian club.

Guzman is an economist at the University of La Plata, earned his PhD from Brown University in the US, and later worked with Joseph Stieglitz at the University of Columbia. He is considered an expert on public debt. In December 2019, Fernández appointed him Minister of the Economy when he took office.

The economic situation he had to deal with in this position was extremely difficult. The outgoing government of Mauricio Macris left a series of records: a deep recession, the highest unemployment since 2006 and the highest inflation since 1989. 2019 by the collapse of imports became. The worst legacy, however, was Macri’s huge loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which the IMF later said would be “unsustainable” for the country. Added to this situation was the pandemic and the consequences of the Ukrainian war.

His skills and achievements are also not questioned by his critics. But the political concept behind it and its implications. Guzman and his team negotiated with the IMF and obtained a loan deferral and restructuring. For this, however, a whole series of critical conditions had to be met.

In fact, there are various positive figures: The Argentine economy has shown strong growth in the last year. Unemployment has fallen and exports are booming. High primary export prices bring huge gains.

On the other hand, inflation remains high (5% in May) and real wages, which during the Macris rule fell by an average of 20%, have stabilized but have not increased significantly and are among the lowest in Latin America (in 2015 r. were still among the highest in the subcontinent).

So the good factors do not reach the working population, and the dissatisfaction among the population is very high, so there is a high risk of re-election in 2023.

Economists say the IMF conditions accepted by Guzman would fuel inflation. The economist Delfina Rossi, for example, cites a 1981 text by Brown and Joy (“The Economic Stagnation Model”) and compares it with the terms of the current agreement: “Abolition of exchange controls and the establishment of a single currency market with a freely floating rate of interest; abolition of internal price controls, credit and budget restrictions, and finally facilitating the granting of foreign capital investments ”. The slightly older Argentinians are badly reminded of the conditions of Raul Alfonsin’s rule, which ended in hyperinflation in 1989-90 with the active help of the IMF.

The harshest criticism, however, comes from those who accuse the government of negotiating with the IMF at all, thereby legitimizing the loan to Macri. On the one hand, he broke Argentine law by accepting the loan without parliamentary approval, and on the other, the agreement also violated the internal guidelines of the IMF itself.

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