More than a third of Argentina's 44 million people are living in poverty and the situation is getting worse. Unemployment is more than 10% - the highest in 13 years - and thousands of small businesses have shut whilst inflation is expected to hit 55% by the start of 2020
Argentina has voted for a new President. Alberto Fernández, of Peronismo, a political movement that represents the working class and is named after Juan Domingo Peron, a military leader who ruled in the 40s and 50s, and again in the 1970s, has succeeded incumbent President Mauricio Macri, a conservative.
Alberto Fernández’s running mate is former populist president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who will be Vice President. Alberto Fernández, regarded as a moderate, was the cabinet chief to deceased president Nestor Kirchner. He then served briefly in the government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Nestor’s wife, before the pair fell out, The Conversation reported.
Argentina, the third largest economy in Latin America, is suffering from an economic crisis. More than a third of Argentina’s 44 million people are living in poverty and the situation is getting worse. Unemployment is more than 10 per cent – the highest in 13 years – and thousands of small businesses have shut and inflation, a chronic problem in Argentina, is expected to hit 55% by the end of the year.
Another major problem facing Alberto Fernández is that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loaned approximately US$57 billion last year, the largest in the IMF’s history, to prevent a full-blown economic crisis in Argentina. The US$57 billion loan was struck by a Stand-By arrangement, which means Argentina has to adopt the economic policies drawn up by the IMF.
Alberto Fernández has said he will play things safe financially. Plans for the first 100 days after the election include a blueprint for a national care system that would train and employ younger people as at-home care workers for the elderly and would standardise and raise wages across the sector, including for early childhood caretakers and community centre workers. Fernández has talked about encouraging small businesses to open by reducing tariffs, about boosting pensions for retirees, and about renegotiating the IMF loan payment.
Macri, who adopted neoliberal policies throughout his term like cutting subsidies and liberalising the market, was blamed for the deteriorating economic situation. He congratulated Fernández on his victory.