When the World Cup is over, Argentina’s 2019 presidential election will have already begun.
The Mauricio Macri administration is betting on the president’s re-election. But not without back-up plans, given the squeeze the country’s economy is set to experience when Macri begins implementing International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommendations tied to the US$ 50 billion loan it sealed with the entity last week.
“We turned to the International Monetary Fund to send a message of predictability” about Argentina’s economy, Macri said Sunday, during a visit to a food manufacturing plant in Tortuguitas.
Macri returned this weekend from his trip to Candada where he was a guest at the G7 summit.
Argentina has “the support of the world’s major economies”, Macri said, describing the “record speed” at which the IMF agreed to the 36-month loan deal.
From Washington, the IMF announced last week that the agreement would be subject to approval by its executive board, which will consider the Argentine government’s economic plan in the coming days.
The 36-month loan contemplates an initial 30-percent transfer, or US$15 billion, on June 20, and a series of financial and macroeconomic measures.
“The [Argentine] authorities have indicated that they intend to draw on the first tranche of the arrangement but subsequently treat the loan as precautionary,” an IMF statement read.
Under the guise of the nationwide fight against drug trafficking, Macri will on Monday meet with at least 10 governors.
Following the break-down of a legislative alliance with dissident Peronist Sergio Massa and his Renewal Front movement last year, Macri has been focussing his attention on shoring up his bonds with the country's governors. Many governor wield great influence over lawmakers representing their respective provinces in the national Congress.
Peronist governors “are aware of the many things that were done wrong” during previous governments “and that the time has come to put our cards on the table”, the head of state said this weekend.
Horacio Rodríguez Larreta (Mayor, Buenos Aires City); governors María Eugenia Vidal (Buenos Aires), Gustavo Valdés (Corrientes), Gerardo Morales (Jujuy), Alfredo Cornejo (Mendoza), Rosana Bertone (Tierra del Fuego), Domingo Peppo (Chaco) and Miguel Lifschitz (Santa Fe), are among the names expected to attend, according to financial publication El Cronista.
Provincial ministers, national senators and Ricardo Lorenzetti, the country’s top Supreme Court justice, will also be in attendance, the paper reported.