Wednesday, June 12, 2024

ARGENTINA | 14-09-2021 16:52

Casa Rosada draws up post-PASO measures, but no plans for reshuffle

Fernández administration drawing up host of measures designed to boost consumption and improve purchasing power.

Argentina's government will soon announce a host of measures designed to boost consumption and improve purchasing power, seeking to regain the initiative in the wake of last Sunday's tough electoral defeat.

With the PASO results indicating that a large sector of the population is unhappy with the direction of the government, the Executive branch will announce steps to combat soaring inflation and falling purchasing power, according to multiple reports on Tuesday.

Under consideration is a one-off boost (of between six to ten percent) to payments to the retired, pensioners and to universal child allowance. That would likely kick in October and November, on the eve of the midterm elections. Officials are also studying a hike to the minimum wage and a proposal that would see five percent of credit and debit card expenses refunded. 

“A lot of work is being done to delineate this package of measures. We also think that there will be announcements regarding new lines of credit," a government source told Perfil on Tuesday.

Measures to boost investment in the production sector are also under discussion, said the source. 

Productive Development Minister Matías Kulfas said Tuesday that the government is considering new measures that would ensure "the recovery accelerates and reaches more sectors."

According to reports on Tuesday, the government will also move to reactivate dormant public works projects, 


No reshuffle

Despite the heavy loss, however, President Alberto Fernández is not seeking to make any immediate change to Cabinet positions, nor introduce a shift in policy direction, it is understood. 

Casa Rosada sources told Noticias Argentinas on Monday that there were no plans for a reshuffle in the wake of the defeat that “belongs to everyone.”

Most of the coalition's heavyweight leaders have mostly remained silent since last Sunday’s battering, especially with regards to the results.

Speaking Monday, President Fernández said that "the path that we started in 2019 will not be altered."

Nevertheless, a few minor voices associated with Frente de Todos have began calling for changes, with social leader Luis D'Elía calling explicitly for a reshuffle. 

Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero, who was one of the first voices on Sunday to express support for the president, was among those targeted for criticism.

The government "should go with other people,” D'Elía told Radio Colonia. “We must make a general change of the Cabinet.”

"If the president does not change a lot of people next to him, it won't be able to work," agreed Hebe de Bonafini, the president of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo.



Juan Grabois, the leader of the Movimiento de Trabajadores Excluidos (“Excluded Workers Movement, MTE”), pointed the finger directly at Cafiero, who has been criticised in recent months by leaders from the Instituto Patria think-tank and La Cámpora.

"This is a very mediocre Cabinet and there is no Cabinet chief. The ministers do not talk to each other," said Grabois.

National deputy Hugo Yasky, who is hoping renew his seat in the midterms, said the defeat was down to the fact that "millions of Argentines did not perceive in their pockets the changes the government had promised." 

He said, however, that there was no point in shuffling ministers if "policy remains the same."



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