Buenos Aires Times


Urtubey: Macri's economic model 'unviable'

Salta's Governor Juan Manuel Urtubey takes aim at Macri and commits to 'unity government' if he wins the 2019 presidential race.

Monday 7 January, 2019
Governor of Salta province Juan Manuel Urtubey.
Governor of Salta province Juan Manuel Urtubey. Foto:Noticias Argentinas

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Argentina's high country risk has rendered the Macri administration's economic model "unviable", the Governor of Salta province Juan Manuel Urtubey said Sunday.

Urtubey is ready "to be the next president" and would seek to lead "a unity government that offers stability", he told the Noticias Argentinas news agency.

"We are going to make a proposal to society for a stable model, and I'm ready.

"The next president will find enormous vulnerability in terms of debt repayments, commitments to sectors of society and the demands of the people", he claimed. 

Poll points to uphill election for Macri against Peronist candidates, except CFK

At this stage, Urtubey looks likely to face dissident Peronist leader Sergio Massa in a primary, with the winner then leading a Peronist ticket through the general and presidential elections in late October.

"Argentina is unviable with a 800-point country risk", Urtubey charged. 

"The first thing that must be done is (to form) a unity government with high approval ratings that can get Argentina moving", he said.

He said Argentina would "have to debate" the terms of the country's stand-by loan with the International Monetary Fund.

Massa launches attack on government's IMF deal during tour of Washington

"I don't foresee a default. Argentina cannot allow another default, it would be mortal. We must get it out of our heads that the solution is to not comply (with the loan terms)", he said.

As a presidential hopeful, the Salta leader is proposing major institutional changes like the appointment by Congress of the national Executive's Cabinet Chief, or "a semi-parliamentary system" as he described it.

He also said he would commit to "carrying out more consultation, and in a permanent way, with the people on key issues and decision making".

"Argentina Federal invites all sectors of society, it is broader than just Peronism", he said of his electoral pact with Massa, Peronist Senate minority leader Miguel Angel Pichetto and the Governor of Cordoba province Juan Schiaretti.

Macri rubs shoulders with Urtubey amid political turbulence over IMF, utility prices

Asked about his proximity to President Macri, Urtubey promised to continue helping the government "until the very last day.

"I'm not that mediocre to celebrate a double fault like they do in tennis", he said.

"I did not vote for Cambiemos nor was I part of Cambiemos", he added, in reference to the ruling coalition of the PRO, UCR Radical and Civic Coalition parties that carried Macri to office in 2015.

Urtubey took aim at the president, highlighting that Macri had asked society to "judge him on his record on poverty and inflation".

See also: Controversy in Argentina over pregnancy of 10-year-old rape victim



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