President Alberto Fernández dedicated all of Sunday to holding meetings at Quinta de Olivos with the aim of finish outlining “the new organization chart” of the Executive Power, according to what they told this newspaper from their environment. The unification of the Ministry of Transportation under the Ministry of Public Works is very likely. Another pending issue is the replacement of John Manuel Olmos in front of the Head of Advisors before his move to the Deputy Chief of Cabinet. Sergio Massa, as confirmed to this newspaper from the Government, will take office on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. at Casa Rosada
and this Monday, the new Secretary of Strategic Relations, Mercedes Marcó del Pont, who will replace Gustavo Beliz, will do the same -at the same time. Massa clarified that on Tuesday, in addition to resigning from the presidency of the Chamber, he will leave his bench as deputy and from his surroundings they confirmed to this newspaper that prepares his first international tour for August “in search of dollars”. The destinations will be four: Washington, New York, Paris and Qatar (see separate).
“Everything is calmer. Alberto is fine”, clarify near the president and show relief because they assure that “managing anything since the departure of (Martín) Guzmán was impossible.” The expectations today are set on knowing if the vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, or her son and leader of La Cámpora, Maximo Kirchner, will be present at Massa’s inauguration on Wednesday. “We do not know if he is going to come,” they clarify from the Government. From the CFK environment they underline that “we never advance pronouncements”. Both the vice president and her son are already in the Federal Capital after spending the weekend in the south. Both followed the conversations between Fernández and Massa by telephone.
The role of governors in key hours
Since the beginning of last week, this newspaper announced that the incorporation of Massa into the cabinet was being defined in the small tables of the ruling party and that, although it still remained to define how the Tigrense would disembark in the Executive, that was an agreement reached by the President and the Vice at a lunch they had the Saturday before his appointment at Quinta de Olivos. Nevertheless, Those who finished sealing the definition were the governors.
On Wednesday of last week, the provincial leaders, after a meeting at the CFI, went to Casa Rosada and held a meeting with the President in which there were heated discussions. “It was tremendous”official sources described to this newspaper and said that the governor of Chaco, Jorge Captainich, exerted special pressure on the president. After the meeting with his companions — who left the Casa Rosada almost running through the Salón de los Bustos to avoid making statements to the press — the man from Chaco stayed with Fernández having a coffee alone and asking, once again , that the times of the definitions are accelerated and order the situation at the political level “urgently”.
The statement they published after the meeting was as brief as it was forceful. He assured that Fernández had promised to take the pertinent measures in the face of the exchange rate run. After that remotely addressed message to the President, and given the president’s continued slow-motion reaction, the next day several of the provincial leaders began to publish explicit messages of support for Massa on their social networks. For this reason, between Wednesday and Thursday, political time accelerated and the announcement, which the government planned to make over the weekend, finally took place on Thursday afternoon.
A classic economy minister
“There was a strong attempt at destabilization by the most concentrated economic and financial powers,” they say in dialogue with Page 12 sectors that identify with the vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and consider that this was the reason for the incorporation of Sergio Massa to the cabinet. “The change was not a matter of names. The exit had to be political and that is what is finally happening,” they clarify. For that sector of the coalition, the government of Alberto Fernández was in a situation of “extreme institutional and political weakness,” and, in that sense, the definition they took of giving Massa more power was “to protect and strengthen the government in the face of an attempt to put democracy in check”. In any case, they play down the importance of the matter by emphasizing that “he was appointed as Minister of Economy, not as President,” and reinforce that he is not a “super minister” with “super powers.” “It returns to a classic Ministry of Economy that corresponds to the situation that the country is experiencing, nothing more,” they clarify.
“In politics you have to take risks. There was no other option because the destabilization attempt was not only against Alberto. The coup attempt is necessary so that CFK is not a candidate in 2023“, they think from Kirchnerism. They consider that the former president “remains the maximum objective of all sectors of power.” In that line, they draw a parallel with what happened in Brazil during the government of Dilma Rousseff in 2016. They remember that Lula da Silva could only be put in jail once Dilma was removed, because if she was the president while he was being sentenced, with a pardon the PT would be back in the running.
The election of Massa – a leader who distanced himself from Kirchnerism in 2009 and who in 2016 even accompanied former President Mauricio Macri to Davos – was assumed by Kirchnerism as “the only possible chance in this context.” Although the relationship between Máximo Kirchner and the new economy minister is good –it was strengthened even before the creation of the FdT–, officials who know him believe that “Máximo is distrustful and nobody forgets how Sergio played.” In some sectors of the ruling party it made noise that the new head of the Treasury “starts showing up with the Enlace table and close to the US.” However, they clarify that “There is so much need to stabilize the economy that this is going to prevail.”
Kirchnerism could not face this situation alone. From that sector they evaluate that Peronism is going through a moment of demobilization due to the economic crisis and what they call “a kind of new divorce with the political class.” “It is barbaric to romanticize a political solution on the side of the purism of our ideas, but it cannot be done,” they lament. The context, they believe, required Kirchnerism to once again support itself and seek strength from the hand of all sectors of the FdT.