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Although without reunification of the blocs, radicalism rehearsed its first great gesture of unity for 2023. After the slam of the door by the deputies of Evolución that led to the fracture of the bloc in the Lower House, the main referents of the UCR met in the city of Santa Fe with the aim of bringing strategic positions closer to the main parliamentary debates, as well as to begin to heal internal wounds. It was the first face-to-face meeting since Gerardo Morales assumed the presidency of the UCR and almost all the senators and deputies of radicalism were present. Originally the legislators of Evolución were not going to participate, but a talk between Morales and Martín Lousteau (the main referent of the rebel bloc) ended up opening the doors. Although there was an expectation that the withdrawal would lead to a reunification of the bloc in Deputies, in Evolución they prefer to maintain their autonomy and the issue did not end up being touched on in the meeting.

“It was a good meeting, calm”, agreed both sectors of the internal radical at the end of the meeting. The parallelism with the radical summit in December, when Emiliano Yacobitti announced that he would form a new block of deputies that would split from the one led by Mario Negri, was clear: the tension at that time ended with shouts and with broken glasses, on this occasion, in change, it ended without reunification but with a principle of internal reordering for 2023. “I am a frontist. Yesterday we had dinner with Pablo Javkin, who is a radical but is in another party. But we understand each other by touch. There are changes in JxC, you have to know them interpret, they have to do with the strength of radicalism. There is a peaceful tension with the PRO. We do not believe we are owners and we do not accept that others believe they are owners of the coalition,” Morales urged at the end of the meeting, and promised: “There is to be proud because there will be a president of the UCR, let’s have confidence in this. We will have a government with more politics, not just technocrats”.

Along these same lines, in one of the most applauded sections of the radical retreat, Mario Negri provoked: “Radicalism has recovered the idea that we can, that we have capable women and men with ideas. What do others have that do we have?” Sitting in their chairs, Senator Martín Lousteau-main shipowner of the reunion meeting along with his old adversary, Morales- listened to him; most of the representatives of Evolution – Yacobitti, Rodrigo De Loredo, Carla Carrizo, among others -; the majority of the deputies that make up the block commanded by Negri; and the heads of block and interblock in the Senate, Luis Naidenoff and Alfredo Cornejo. “This is a legislative agenda meeting that must be part of something bigger, the kickoff to discuss what we are going to propose to society in 2023 because the better radicalism is, the better its proposals are and the more its candidates, it will be better JxC”, added, when he exposed, Lousteau.

legislative agenda

The radical summit, which took place in a room at the Port of the City of Santa Fe, lasted more than six hours and was divided into stages. The first was devoted to the agreement with the IMF and the reform of the Judicial Council. In the economic panel, the economists Eduardo Levy Yeyati, Javier González Fraga and Guido Lorenzo spoke, who recommended accompanying the agreement with the IMF. “The line that we had been working on considering that the understanding was positive and that the default has been avoided was ratified, and that we must act responsibly and facilitate the work in Congress. Although we must wait for the details of the agreement,” he explained to Page 12 Deputy Alejandro Cacace. In the Justice panel – in which Alfredo Cornejo, Ricardo Gil Lavedra, Silvia Giaccopo, Martín Berhongaray, Carla Carrizo and Mariana Juri spoke -, however, a total consensus was not reached. Although JxC’s plan is to present a unified project for the reform of the Council of the Judiciary, there are several points of debate (such as who will preside over the body) that still need to be resolved.

In the second part, the participants focused on discussing what parliamentary strategy to implement this year and how to reposition the party against the PRO in the face of the 2023 elections. However, beyond the speeches in favor of unity, the issue of reunifying the block in Deputies was not even mentioned. “Today’s circumstances are the same as in December and I don’t see Negri saying that, for the sake of unity, he is going to sacrifice himself to reunite the entire bloc,” slipped a weighty legislator from Evolución. The blocks will then continue to be separated when regular sessions begin. The expectation is that, from now on, coexistence will be at least a little more peaceful.

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