Economy Minister Martín Guzmán’s presentation to governors and provincial representatives detailing the government’s proposal for debt negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) triggered strong criticism from the opposition.
One of the first to speak after the speech in the Bicentennial Museum at Government House was Senate Minority Leader Alfredo Cornejo (Radical-Mendoza), who observed that Guzmán had never said that he enjoyed the support of Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
"One hour of narrative by minister Guzmán. Rather than outline the proposal of his government, he exposed that nobody supports his plan," he wrote on his Twitter account.
"The debt problem originates in a recurrent state deficit which various governments have failed to solve with their successive misrule. [The proposal] might be supported by the international community, Congress and the creditors. But he [Guzmán] never said whether @CFKArgentina supports it," pointed out the Radical senator.
"He insists on the same Kirchnerite narrative, that the debt originated in the Cambiemos government and that all the evils suffered by the country were the product of the only four years in the last 18 when they did not govern," added the Juntos por el Cambio caucus leader.
Another opposition leader who spoke out was lower house Radical leader Mario Negri, who accused Guzmán of "not supplying any relevant information" and "falling short."
"Photos of internal support to gain external support are not going to solve the inconsistencies of the government ‘plan.’ If the deficit is not reduced, it will be very difficult to lower inflation and accumulate reserves," the Córdoba deputy posted on social networks.
Outspoken deputy Fernando Iglesias (PRO-City) a;sp rubbished the minister’s proposal: "Two years preparing it and not a single number. But if the agreement does not come through, it is the fault of the opposition."
"They did not announce anything. There can only be dialogue with the truth on the table! No more narrative, look around: poverty, recession and inflation, a useless state, unsustainable and with rock-bottom services, as the country discovered in 2015. And no plan has appeared. Make a switch because the decay is getting worse!" added Patricia Bullrich, who chairs the PRO party founded by ex-president Mauricio Macri.
Libertarian deputy José Luis Espert (Avanza Libertad-Buenos Aires Province) said: "After listening to Guzmán it is clear that the grieta [rift] with the IMF is the speed at which the fiscal deficit should be lowered and that is an issue which Guzmán carries in his blood, in his guts," adding: "He thinks that deficits are virtous and make the economy grow. The agreement is not there and nor will it be easy to reach."
Former Central Bank and ex-minister Alfonso Prat-Gay, published: "Melchior, Caspar and Balthasar... and the plan spanning many years???" in reference to Epiphany last Thursday and the lines of the agreement which the government wishes to reach with the IMF.
Leftist deputy Myriam Bregman (Frente de Izquierda-Unidad-City) questioned President Alberto Fernández for having denied the "illegítimate" origin of the debt contracted by the Mauricio Macri government with the IMF during an exchange of opinions between the President and San Luis Governor Alberto Rodríguez Saá.
"Debts can be illegitimate according to their origin, process or service. All those elements are there in this case. To pay is a political decision, it has nothing to do with legality and far less with legitimacy," considered Bregman.