Candidate for Buenos Aires Province governor Axel Kicillof refuted recent attacks against him this weekend, as he attempted to clarify his economic vision in a sweeping interview with PERFIL's Jorge Fontevecchia.
The Frente de Todos gubernatorial candidate denied ever being a member of “Trotskyist or Marxist party,” a line of attack repeatedly deployed by President Mauricio Macri’s vice-presidential pre-candidate Miguel Pichetto on the campaign trail.
Yet Kicillof, a self-professed admirer of English economist John Maynard Keynes, mused at length on his view in the government’s role in the economy.
“I don’t believe in property for all, even less for companies,” Kicillof said. “Today, capitalism is successful. Russia is capitalist, China neither bets on state property. For this, I say: 'I’m a Peronist.' Argentina didn’t function well with other models.”
Kicillof repeatedly dismissed the use of ideological labels during the interview, for both his opponents and allies.
“No-one asks Macri if he is a Freidmanian neoliberal or a Newmanian neoliberal because he attended Cardenal Newman,” Kicillof said. “No-one knows the ideology of [current Buenos Aires governor María Eugenia] Vidal. It’s not about throwing books over her head.”
On practical economic issues, Kicillof criticised the International Monetary Fund and its US$56-billion bailout deal agreed with Macri’s government last year, saying the Fund didn’t follow through on its promises with Argentina.
“The lending was meant to save las papas of a government that had borrowed [US$]80 billion previously and didn’t have more credit,” the former economy minister said. “Furthermore, they have 're-dimensioned' the lending, they modified it. They changed it five times. Now, today, we don’t know what the Fund is doing in Argentina.”
Refuting other recent attacks by Vidal about his independence from the Kirchner family, Kicillof maintained he acted independently from Máximo Kirchner, son of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, as well as La Cámpora, the Kirchnerite political youth movement.
“I wlll govern,” Kicillof said. “Our system puts in place a governor that should make decisions. We will have in mind the opinions of all, as long as it takes the path of bettering health, education, production and work.”