Buenos Aires Times

economy Despite social tensions

Macri's coalition huddles at Pink House to ratify disputed economic policies

President Mauricio Macri held two key meetings on Monday: one, with his national economic team; the other, with representatives of the ruling Cambiemos (Let’s Change) coalition.

Tuesday 8 May, 2018
The UCR Radical Party leader in the Lower House, Mario Negri, arrives to the Pink House on Monday May 7, 2018 for a meeting with President Macri.
The UCR Radical Party leader in the Lower House, Mario Negri, arrives to the Pink House on Monday May 7, 2018 for a meeting with President Macri. Foto:Noticias Argentinas

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After one of the worst week’s in President Mauricio Macri’s political career, the head of state on Monday summoned representatives of his ruling Cambiemos (Let’s Change) coalition for a crucial meeting at the Pink House.

Macri held two meetings on Monday: one, with his national economic team; the other, with representatives of the ruling Cambiemos coalition including the PRO (Macri’s own party), the UCR Radical Party and Civic Coalition.

The gathering of the National Cambiemos Workgroup “ratified” the Macri government’s “political, economic and social pathway, while admitting to difficulties in obtaining the results that Argentines deserve”, UCR president and Governor of Mendoza province, Alfredo Cornejo, told reporters.

ECONOMIC WOES

On Friday morning, less than half a day after the peso had slumped nearly eight percent to a record 23.30 against the dollar, the Central Bank said it would hike its benchmark interest rate to 40 percent – its third raise in a week. 

Treasury Minister Nicolás Dujovne said the government would also cut its fiscal debt target to 2.7 percent of GDP from 3.2 percent.

“The results that we want are being achieved incipiently. Others, not so much” Cornejo said Monday. “But we must continue in this same direction”.

Opposition parties will on Wednesday hold a special session to try to block any further increases to utility prices, which have been a key battleground given the rising social tension over the cost of living.

Cornejo had words of warning for lawmakers, expressing his hope that session would remain “tranquil and not like the one addressing the pension reform” bill which the government passed late last year.

“Congress does not have to address utilities (prices)”, he insisted, describing the opposition’s project as “demagogic”.

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