January 24, 2022 1:35 pm

Internal criticism weakens Guzmán and the government prepares for a precarious agreement

Pedro’s Wado He interrupted a few days off and went to Villa Gesell. There he met Axel Kicillof, with whom he shared the helicopter ride to the Casa Rosada. That journey served to adjust the details of an intervention that had already spoken with the president Alberto Fernandez and that endorsed with the vice president Cristina Kirchner.

Already in Balcarce 50, inside the office of the political minister on the ground floor, the Minister of Economy joined, Martin Guzman, to go over the details. One would be the good cop, the other would play the role of the bad cop. It was thus that in the extensive presentation Guzmán, on whom furious internal questions returned, never departed from the script or placed responsibilities on the main shareholders of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Kicillof was in charge of giving a name and surname to those responsible, always according to the gaze of the ruling party, for locking the agreement with the multilateral credit organization. “If they have the possibility of blocking the agreement, it is necessary to review the strategy”, thus the Buenos Aires governor launched “the atomic bomb”, a metaphor he chose to describe the loan that the Fund granted to Mauricio Macri in 2018. But it was an “acting”, according to the curious interpretation they made from the top of the dome of power of the Frente de Todos.

Martín Guzmán greets Axel KicillofFabián Marelli – THE NATION

There is no longer room for new strategies, nor time. The Government admitted in reserve that the agreement will be “bad for the country and the people, but the default would be even worse and it is not in anyone’s head.” It’s what he got. “In March there will be a loose agreement that will allow us to reach 2023,” official sources acknowledged. That is why now the time of the installation of the lesser evil has begun and the bet is centralized in what is to come.

“You had to calm your own,” a privileged witness of what happened in the last 72 hours was honest.

In a complex scenario, several important actors within the Frente de Todos, such as the campers and the massimo, once again placed the responsibility on the head of the Palacio de Hacienda, who once again appears weakened. The shots for elevation come from Congress due to the lack of internal and external consensus. Methodical and dedicated, Guzmán avoids falling into these games. “They’ve been saying he’s leaving for two years … Sometime they’ll hit him,” they reply with a chicana from their surroundings.

The Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, and President Alberto Fernández this afternoon at the Casa Rosada, together with governors
The Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, and President Alberto Fernández this afternoon at the Casa Rosada, together with governorsFabián Marelli – THE NATION

He is not the only one who carries the cross due to the absence of several of his own governors on Wednesday in the Government House. In an internal climate crossed by tension, the flurry of guilt touches everyone. “The lack of consensus was due to errors of the national government,” a man who consulted several ministers was sincere.

While the climate of internal mistrust gains, some maliciously wonder when Juan Manzur will take office, who officiated all these days as a silent observer.

After an “intense” week, the minister seeks to weave agreements in parallel with the talks with the IMF, after admitting that “the fiscal path is the point where there is no agreement.” His obsession is prices and the need to anchor expectations. In good romance, stop the inflationary spiral. Without falling into internalism, criticism is reserved for the opposition. “They demand things that they never did when they took the loan and now they want to know the numbers… They would have gone to the meeting. The instance to ask was that ”, they explained from Economy.

They also defended themselves against the criticism that rained down after the negative impact on the markets by Guzmán’s speech. “Martín knew what talking involved, the real economy is fine. Some look at the financial economy, we look at the real one. The important thing is not to stop the economic recovery, to continue generating employment and increasing exports, “they added from the Palacio de Hacienda.

Sergio Massa, Máximo Kirchner and Martín Guzmán in Congress on the day of the session for the Income Tax on Deputies
Sergio Massa, Máximo Kirchner and Martín Guzmán in Congress on the day of the session for the Income Tax on DeputiesHCDN Press

Once again, internal differences left the government with the marathon task of reaching agreements. The truth is that the photograph with the governors and parliamentary heads of Together for Change was left for later. In principle it would be in a week. The official excuse was that Sergio Massa isolated himself because Malena galmarini tested positive for Covid. The president of the Chamber of Deputies, one of the shipowners of the meeting, notified the President and the ruling bloc.

Those who were with the President in recent days assure that, forced by internal disorder and the context of fragility in the negotiations with the IMF, he put on his tightrope suit again to keep the peace.

He also had to intervene to avoid being snubbed by the opposition. The head of state called Gerardo Morales placeholder image (Jujuy) and Gustavo Valdes (Currents) to unblock the conflict. Finally, the radical governors sent representatives to the conclave with Guzmán.

From the opposition, on the other hand, they watch with attention every step that the Government takes. The internal postures are clear. The bet of many of the leaders of Together for Change with ambitions in 2023 is that the national government maintains this course of “sustainable deterioration”.


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