The Argentine government announced this Thursday (28) that lawyer Sergio Massa, one of the country’s best-known politicians and until now president of the Chamber of Deputies, will be the new Minister of Economy, the third in less than a month, and its portfolio will also include the areas of Productive Development and Agriculture.
An official communiqué indicates that President Alberto Fernández “decided to reorganize the economic areas of his cabinet for better functioning, coordination and management”, for which “the ministries of Economy, Productive Development and Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries will be unified, also including relations with international, bilateral and multilateral credit organizations”.
“The new ministry will be in charge of Sergio Massa, current president of the Chamber of Deputies, as soon as his removal from his position is resolved”, as deputy, adds the published text.
Massa, 50, will replace Silvina Batakis, who took office on July 4 following the resignation of Martín Guzmán amid strong political tensions within the ruling coalition, a move that has caused severe turmoil in the country’s stock and currency markets.
Although so far this week has been marked by a relative calm in the different quotes of the dollar – after the fluctuations of the previous weeks – Batakis has not managed to stabilize the markets.
Investors continue to be suspicious of an economy impacted by the shortage of foreign currency to import and the need to comply with the agreement signed in March with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to refinance the debt contracted in 2018 by the government of Mauricio Macri (2015-2019) .
Massa’s replacement comes shortly after Batakis arrived from the United States, where he went to meet the managing director of the IMF and US investors and officials.
On Tuesday, the still minister was convinced that Argentina will be able to face the conditions of the agreement with the Fund, although many economists consider it practically impossible.
Massa, founder of the Renovating Front, is one of the leaders of the ruling Frente de Todos coalition, along with President Alberto Fernández and Vice President Cristina Kirchner, who was president from 2007 to 2015.
Candidate for the presidency in 2015, in the elections in which he came in third place, Massa was, among other positions, director of the social security agency between 2002 and 2007 and head of the Cabinet of Ministers between 2008 and 2009, when Cristina governed, a position that left amid disagreements with the then ruler.
In 2019, after clearing up with the widow of former president Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007), Massa decided to add the Renovating Front to the alliance formed by Fernández and Cristina, and since December of that year he has been president of the Chamber.