Thursday, April 18, 2024

ARGENTINA | 31-10-2019 13:42

Kicilloff asks Vidal to rollback rate increases, as two meet for talks on transition

Governor-elect of nation's most-populous province met with outgoing governor María Eugenia Vidal in La Plata on Thursday, as talks begin over changeover.

Buenos Aires Province governor-elect Axel Kicillof says he has asked the region's outgoing leader María Eugenia Vidal to roll back planned rate increases for energy prices in the region.

Kicillof, 48, met with Vidal at the Casa de Gobierno in La Plata on Thursday, for the first time since Sunday's election, as the two began to draw up plans for an orderly transition between the two administrations. The two talked for an hour and a half, with talks addressing debt, funding and the social and economic situation in the province.

Kicillof later described the meeting as "cordial."

"The meeting was cordial, but I asked the governor to roll back the rate increase," he later told reporters, referring to a 25-percent hike in the electricity tariffs of lending companies operating in the province.

 "The governor said that this rise has been pending since August, and I planted the idea of how things are, the prices, and what the companies earn, and that they cancel it."

“Our request was heard by the governor, but we didn’t ask for any specific resolution,” added Kicillof, describing the tariff increases as "unpayable."

The Frente de Todos winner remarked that the idea is to begin work on the transition now, dismissing the idea that the meeting was just protocol. 

He said he had asked Vidal to "take care of the financial situation" of the region.

Kicillof also relayed plans to have their teams meet next week so the two administrations can work together to evaluate the situation and to ensure Kicillof’s team takes office on December 10 with clear and precise information. 

The former economy minister has named four members to his team: his right-hand man Carlos Biano; former interior secretary Augusto Costa; his former colleague at the economy ministry, Agustina Vila; and the chancellor of the University of José C. Paz, Federico Thea.

“We asked her to take care of the most dire areas in the province and Vidal showed she was prepared for a peaceful exchange of power,” Kicillof said.  

He said that the governor had appointed deputy governor Federico Salvai to oversee the transition.

Kicillof's tone was notably different from last Sunday, when he had accused the governor of turning the province into “tierra arrasada” ("razed ground"), after winning the provincial election, taking more than 50 percent of the votes.

The former economy minister was due to hold meetings in Tigre later today meet with newly provincial elected mayors to map out his future government. 



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