Monday, April 22, 2024

ARGENTINA | 28-07-2022 13:23

Argentina cabinet reshuffle: rumours of another new economy minister

Argentine Government is changing again: Béliz resigns, rumours abound that Sergio Massa will replace Silvina Batakis as economy minister.

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández is poised to name lower house Speaker Sergio Massa as the country’s new economy minister, appointing a second person for the job in less than a month, according to local newspaper Clarín. Gustavo Béliz, the President's secretary of strategic affairs, has resigned.

Gustavo Béliz has presented President Alberto Fernández with his resignation from the post he has held since December 2019, reports Perfil. The news was confirmed by sources from the national government.

Béliz's resignation is the first of the day amid the reigning uncertainty at Casa Rosada, where many assume Sergiio Massa will soon take up a position in this cabinet's administration.

Internal government sources say that the president is focused on "the need to get out of this moment."

Sergio Massa would replace Silvina Batakis, who took office on July 4 after the abrupt resignation of Martín Guzmán, the newspaper reported on Wednesday, without naming its sources. In a tweet, Massa said he had seen “rumours” and had not been made any offer but was expecting to speak with Fernández between Friday and Saturday. A spokeswoman for the president did not immediately reply to a request for comment. 

Another abrupt change – or the mere rumour of one – will likely inject volatility into markets in the coming days. After Guzmán resigned on July 2, prices soared and the peso plunged in parallel markets.

Massa, if confirmed, will inherit enormous challenges: economists see inflation reaching 90% this year, the central bank’s reserves are razor thin and the country is behind on the targets it must meet to comply with a US$44 billion program with the International Monetary Fund.

Massa is seen as one of the more market-friendly figures within the ruling coalition. A former mayor who built his reputation as being tough on crime, he was cabinet chief between 2008 and 2009 during the presidency of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Batakis is returning from a trip to Washington, D.C. in which she met with representatives from the IMF, the US Treasury, the World Bank as well as private investors.



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