Macri's 'roundtable' invite gets lukewarm reaction as negotiations continue
Among the invitees are former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the CGT union umbrella and the Church. Years of polarisation and an ongoing recession threatens President Macri's political future.
The Mauricio Macri government this week showed its eagerness to engage Argentina's political elite in an open discussion about the country's economic and social future.
The government's broad invitation to national party leaders, governors, union leaders and Church officials, among others, comes after years of polarisation and an ongoing recession which threatens Macri's political future.
The Macri administration wants the country's most important political leaders to "express" their opinions on "essential issues" facing Argentina, according to individual letters obtained by some of them.
So far, the invitation has received little response with negotiations over a "round table" meet still apparently in their early stages.
"We're an opposition that is willing to provide the government with the tools it needs to governor, like we have done to date, but it is the government which should be taking charge of the difficult economic situation they have led us to as Argentines," one governor told Perfil.
Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio is scheduled to meet outgoing Río Negro governor Alberto Weretilnec this week, while incoming Entre Ríos Governor Gustavo Bordet is reportedly waiting for his formal invitation to talks.
One governor the Macri administration has its eyes on is Córdoba's Juan Schiaretti who is expected to win re-election this Sunday against a fragmented Cambiemos (Let's Change) coalition. Macri's Cambiemos allies Mario Negro and Ramón Mestre split over the candidacy, with the former running for the coalition and the latter representing the UCR Radical Party. Schiaretti is seen as a key to unlocking dialogue with other governors.
Last week, Cambiemos proposed a programme of 10 basic points, which received different responses from the opposition. The government is said to be open to "some changes," acknowledging that leaders "are being called to dialogue to discuss and reach a consensus."
The government hopes the "round table", and even any debate about the possibility of the round table coming to fruition, will favour their attempts to show stability and predictability in the midst of the country's economic crisis.
Macri's potential contenders in the October presidential race have questioned the proposal, the organisation of which is being managed by Frigerio, Cabinet Minister Marcos Peña and Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
Former Economy minister Roberto Lavanga - who has not officially confirmed he will run for president - this week watered down his initial rejection of the idea.