Quizzed by journalists this week about rumours of a Cabinet reshuffle, President Alberto Fernández said he is thinking more of “changing nappies” than government ministers, citing the birth of newborn son, Francisco.
It was of little use. The never-ending internal conflicts of the ruling Frente de Todos coalition, coupled with the worrying 6.7 percent increase in inflation in March, has put the issue back on the agenda. There are strong rumours circulating of Cabinet reshuffle after Easter.
Debates about the names are a constant in the government, or at least they have been since Frente de Todos’ electoral defeat in the PASO primaries and the political crisis that followed. Although Alberto had initially refused to do so, he was forced to change some of the key players under pressure from the coalition’s Kirchnerite sectors. Although a long time has passed since then, the instability continues.
After several “media operations,” the name of Economy Minister Martín Guzmán was presaged over the last week, especially when it was known that an alarming inflation rate was about to be released. After a meeting last weekend with the president, that option has been ruled out. "To hand him over is to hand over the government," they say from the Casa Rosada.
On the other hand, sources say cosmetic changes could be made, not necessarily ministers but more likely secretaries. Following this line, the first to go would be Domestic Trade Secretary Roberto Feletti, who has been gripped in a very public dispute with Guzmán and Productive Development Minister Matías Kulfas.
This might not be the only news incoming. The strategist Sergio Massa and Catalan political consultant Antoní Gutiérrez Rubí quizzed their clients in surveys and the answers were conclusive: 60 percent of those consulted want the Tigre leader "to have more prominence in the decision making of this government." In the Frente Renovador space, several are hoping to gain more prominence in the Cabinet, which could include ministries of a productive nature.