Thursday, July 18, 2024

ARGENTINA | 22-08-2023 13:57

Massa prepares a ‘two-measures-per-day’ plan to win over voters

Economy minister and Unión por la Patria presidential candidate discussed next steps with Alberto Fernández and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner before boarding the plane to Washington DC for IMF talks. Measures including fixed quotas and lump sum payments for employees will be deployed to counter the impact of devaluation.

Before boarding the plane bound for Washington DC, Economy Minister Sergio Massa monitored Argentina’s electoral thermometer with President Alberto Fernández and Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. He did so separately, on separate calls.

As reported over the weekend, the government is betting its chances on confronting the figure of Javier Milei and deflating Patricia Bullrich as a contender in October 22 general elections. Within the Casa Rosada, they seek to make it to the run-off and a face-off with the libertarian.

With this political objective in mind, the Economic Cabinet is fine-tuning the accounts and defining the small print of the package of measures that Massa will announce upon his return to the country. There will be a meticulous plan of announcements delivered in instalments to ensure the initiative is retained.

This string of announcements will begin next Thursday or Friday, with two measures delivered each day for  seven consecutive days.

High-level sources in the Economy Ministry explained that there will be a package to recover the fall in purchasing power felt by the devaluation and an aim of establishing a fixed sum for private-sector workers. Officials are also studying an increase in the funds received by the social organisations, who are planning to demonstrate and march in the centre of Buenos Aires this Thursday. 

The package will also include new credit options for retirees and perhaps an extra one-off bonus payment in instalments for those on the lowest salaries, along with some additional benefits for recipients of social welfare.

Productive incentives for small- and medium-size businesses are not being ruled out either, as well as the possibility of eliminating some duties for some regional economies, provided that they export value-added products.

These are some of the current pro-consumption and pro-production incentives under discussion by the parts of Massa’s economic team that stayed behind in Buenos Aires. Among them are his second-in-command, Gabriel Rubistein, and Customs agency head Guillermo Michel.

The new measures come in the wake of price-freezing agreements reached with medical, food, fuel, retail and wholesale businesses in the wake of the August 13 PASO primaries and the 20-percent devaluation of the currency.

Alejandra Gallo

Alejandra Gallo

Periodista especializada en Economía


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