Buenos Aires Times

argentina CABINET CHANGES

Labour Secretary Jorge Triaca resigns, will depart after G20 summit

Steps down after losing power amid restructuring of the Cabinet and reduction in number of ministers. He will remain in his post until after the G20 Leaders Summit at the turn of the month.

Wednesday 14 November, 2018
Labour Minister Jorge Triaca.
Labour Minister Jorge Triaca. Foto:Cedoc

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Weeks after losing power in President Mauricio Macri's restructuring of the Cabinet and reduction in the number of national ministries, Labour Secretary Jorge Triaca has presented his resignation. He will remain in his post, however, for now, at least until the beginning of December.

The national official, who led the Macri administration's oftentimes testy negotiations with the country's unions, confirmed the news today. His resignation will be publicly confirmed tomorrow at a press conference at midday tomorrow, also attended by Production and Labour Minister Dante Sica, who will extend his influence in government thanks to Triaca's departure.

Triaca was part of President Macri's first Cabinet. However, his Labour Ministry was absorbed into the Production and Labour Ministry in September this year, and Triaca lost out as minister to newcomer Sica. 

It is anticipated that the outgoing official will confirm he intends to stay in the post until after the two-day G20 Leaders Summit in the capital ends.

he timing of his resignation, as well as the continuation in their current roles of key officials in his office, were negotiated with Sica, Perfil.com reported. It remains to be seen if the Labour Secretariat will be completely dissolved.

Triaca's next move is as yet unknown. He was previously linked with an ambassadorial post representing Argentina at the Vatican, although he reportedly rejected the role for family reasons.

The decision to leave the governemnt comes after several weeks of rumours and reports of tension in local media outlets – last week, Perfil journalist Ezequiel Spillman said Sica was planning to move Triaca on from his ministry and was actively seeking a replacement.

Just six days ago, Sica denied Triaca was on his way out, saying there no was no change lined up "at the moment."

With the Labour secretary's departure, Sica will be the main focal point for contact with businesses and trade unions.

SCANDALS

Triaca's resignation is a blow for the Macri government. The president himself and Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña had publicly supported him in his position despite two major crises earlier this year.

In January, he became the focus of a massive scandal on when voice messages he sent to his former housekeeper and assistant Sandra Heredia went viral. In the messages Triaca raised his voice in anger and called Heredia a “pelotuda” (roughly translation: “dumbass.”)

Heredia also said Triaca paid her under the table up until 20 days before Macri won the 2015 election. He apologised for the language and denied paying Heredia without a contract.

As the scandal refused to drop out of the media cycle, the government came out to defend the minister. Two days after the news first broke, Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña publicly stood by Triaca, saying the messages were not “something that should cost him his job” and praising his performance as Labour minister so far.

However, soon after, Triaca found himself repeatedly on the nation’s frontpages, with the minister facing alleged nepotism claims over number of his relatives employed in state positions.

- TIMES/PERFIL

 

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