Wednesday, July 24, 2024

ARGENTINA | 27-05-2024 22:33

Argentina’s Milei fires Cabinet chief as bill stalls in Congress

Javier Milei accepts Nicolás Posse’s resignation and is replacing him with Interior Minister Guillermo Francos, government says in a statement.

President Javier Milei replaced his Cabinet Chief Nicolás Posse Monday as the government’s major economic reform bill has stalled in Congress, marking the most high-level departure since Milei took office December 10. 

Milei accepted Posse’s resignation and replaced him with Interior Minister Guillermo Francos, according to a statement on the government’s X account. Francos has coordinated negotiations between the president and congressional leaders over the reform bill.

Though it’s one of the earliest departures of a top cabinet post in any recent presidency, investors appeared at peace with the move. Argentina’s sovereign dollar notes edged higher across the curve Tuesday, erasing earlier losses. Bonds due in 2029 rose 0.4 cents to trade as high as 56 cents on the dollar, according to indicative pricing data compiled by Bloomberg.

Francos immediately distinguished himself from Posse — who never spoke to the press — by hosting a press conference Tuesday morning. The new Cabinet chief said he’d spend his first day on the job talking with Senate leaders about the status of Milei’s so-called 'omnibus' bill and fiscal reform.  

“The president has asked me to give a boost to our governing amid this political situation,” Francos told reporters. “We’re navigating a path to seek consensus on a bill in Congress.” 

The shift comes after Milei warned last week that his entire Cabinet would be put “under analysis” depending on whether Congress approves the bill. Posse resigned right before Milei departed Monday evening for a week of meetings in the San Francisco area with top executives from Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc and Meta Platforms Inc, among others. 

Posse’s departure stands to unsettle markets as investors were already becoming nervous about Milei’s delayed reform bill that promises wide-ranging economic measures, which the libertarian initially hoped to have signed by May 25. The president recently conceded that the bill, and a symbolic pact with governors, may not happen until June or July. 

Posse became a key figure during Milei’s campaign and later a top negotiator in the early months between the government and the International Monetary Fund over Argentina’s US$44-billion programme. With a corporate background and no formal government experience, Posse kept a low profile and chose not to speak to the press, breaking with tradition for Cabinet chiefs.

Before joining Milei’s campaign, Posse climbed the executive ranks for several years at Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, a part of the Corporación América holding company where Milei once worked for billionaire Eduardo Eurnekian.

Posse was lauded by politicians and diplomats for adding structure to Milei’s campaign after the outsider stunned the nation by winning a primary vote last August.

related news

by Patrick Gillespie, Bloomberg

In this news


More in (in spanish)