Former president Mauricio Macri has dismissed the possibility of the October election going to a run-off between ruling front presidential candidate Sergio Massa and libertarian frontrunner Javier Milei, expressing confidence that his Juntos por el Cambio opposition coalition is sure to win the vote.
“It’s not logical for Massa to get the same number of votes as he did in the PASO primaries. He should get fewer because the economy of every household is cracked,” declared the former head of state in a television interview on Tuesday.
“We have inflation we haven’t seen in decades. Let genius Massa explain how he did that,” quipped Macri, who led Argentina from 2015 to 2019.
The PRO leader did not spare any criticism of the candidates he is not backing in October, while publicly expressing his support for his coalition's candidate, Patricia Bullrich.
Less than a month out from the election in October 22, Macri said he believes the country is heading for a hyperinflationary spiral due to recent economic measures. Slamming Massa's electioneering and announcements of new cash handouts for informal and formal workers, the former president said Massa is “irresponsible, shameless and perverse, lying at every turn."
“The worst came with this government, it broke every record in history in terms of indebtedness. Massa is driving the country into debt to control cash with liquidation. With his capacity to deceive, he got more money from the IMF,” he stated, referring to Argentina's US$44.5-billion credit programme with the International Monetary Fund, a debt contracted by the Macri administration in 2018.
Describing the government of Alberto Fernández and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was “the worst in history,” Macri went on to accuse them of destroying international relations, isolating the country and “fighting with Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile."
"We’re the laughing stock of the world," declared Macri, who said Bullrich would be in charge of putting the country’s finances back in order.
“Currency restrictions are still on the list, because we all know there are no dollars in the Central Bank, and when this is unified somewhere, with the confidence aroused by Patricia Bullrich and her administration, it will be slightly below today’s parallel exchange rate, but twice as much as it is today," said Macri, addressing exchange rate turmoil.
Leetting rip at Massa, Macri said that he "did not know" what the government is "going to do."
"Massa gives something away he doesn’t have every day, he’ll continue to print money, which causes inflation," he challenged.
In another section of the interview, Macri suggested that if the presidential candidates from Juntos por el Cambio and La Libertad Avanza both qualify for the runoff “it will be a relief.”
Highlighting that "there is support in the world for many of the leaders in Juntos por el Cambio," he predicted Bullrich would emerge victorious.
Quizzed about his relationship with Milei, Macri said he shares “some common ground with ideas such as freedom, which I’ve been predicating for the last 20 years," but he questioned his “intolerance to criticism.”