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ARGENTINA | 26-10-2022 17:37

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner reignites infighting with inflation jab

Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner reignites infighting in the ruling coalition by criticising price increases authorised by her own government.

Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner reignited infighting in the ruling coalition on Wednesday by criticising price increases authorised by her own government following a wave of Cabinet resignations.

Fernández de Kirchner, who is seen as the most powerful figure in President Alberto Fernández's government, referred to price increases in private healthcare plans that are regulated by the government, and said they were 20 percentage points above the annual rate of inflation.

"The new increase is frankly unacceptable," Fernández de Kirchner tweeted, noting that the government had authorised it.

The comment widens the gap between vice-president and president and increases tensions within the ruling Peronist coalition. In September, Fernández de Kirchner said Economy Minister Sergio Massa, another powerful government leader, should implement tighter price controls as extreme poverty rises and annual inflation approaches 100 percent. Massa has not yet done that.

The former president, who survived a failed assassination attempt in September, has distanced herself from Fernández since the government lost control of the Senate in last year's midterm elections, and now the rift between the two appears to be widening.

The president's chief-of-staff and four other ministers resigned or announced upcoming departures during October, adding to the departure of three other ministers earlier this year.

The differences come at a time of growing speculation over who will be the government's presidential candidate for next year's elections.

Fernández de Kirchner's son Máximo, who is also a deputy, said on Monday that he does not believe she will run for president, but the vice-president has yet to comment on the speculation.

President Fernández, however, has said he will be a candidate if the coalition chooses him.

by Patrick Gillespie, Bloomberg

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