Martin Guzman: Argentina’s economy minister resigns | Business and Economy News

Argentina’s Economy Minister Martin Guzman, the architect of the recent debt deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has resigned.

Guzman’s statement on Saturday came as the ruling coalition is deeply divided over how to handle Argentina’s growing economic crisis.

A minister since late 2019 and a close ally of President Alberto Fernandez, the 39-year-old Guzman did not say why he resigned.

But in a seven-page letter posted on Twitter, he suggested that internal battles were at least part of the reason for his departure, and called on Fernandez to heal divisions so that “the next minister does not suffered the same hardships he did.

Guzman, who has clashed with Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, a two-term powerful former president, said he maintains “belief in my vision of the path Argentina should follow”.

The former minister was the driving force in signing a new $44 billion deal with the IMF earlier this year to replace a failed program from 2018.

But lawmakers allied with the vice president, who has called for more spending to reduce poverty levels, voted against the deal with the IMF and only this deal. through the Parliament thanks to support from the center-right opposition.

Guzman posted his stunning resignation while Fernandez de Kirchner was delivering a tribute to former Argentine President Juan Domingo Peron.

His departure, which comes at the end of a week of economic uncertainty, has sparked fresh uncertainty in Argentina, Latin America’s third-largest economy. The peso has hit an all-time low against the dollar, while inflation is above 60% and truck drivers are organizing protests over diesel fuel shortages.

The move also deals a blow to Fernandez’s waning power base.

“It’s a chronicle of a foretold death,” said Mariel Fornoni, director of the consulting firm Management and Fit, adding that last year’s painful midterm election defeat for Mr. The government had hurt Fernandez badly.

“Now he’s lost another piece of the board, perhaps the most important, and is growing lonely.”

Guzman said “there needs to be a political agreement within the governing coalition” to choose a successor.

The president’s office said it did not yet know when Guzman’s replacement would be announced. Fernandez has summoned members of his Cabinet and allies to an emergency meeting, a government source said.

“The President deeply regrets this decision but respects it. He is analyzing his next decisions,” said another government source with knowledge of the matter.

Two Economy Ministry officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Guzman’s stance had become unacceptable, especially when there was no support for his economic agenda.

“He can’t go on without the tools and with Cristina against him,” one of the two said. “When things are no longer possible, it’s a responsible act of leaving.”

Miguel Kiguel, Argentina’s former finance minister, told Reuters news agency that whoever took over would have a hard time, noting that inflation could hit 80 percent this year and there is a gap of nearly 100 percent between the exchange rate and the exchange rate. the official exchange rate and the parallel exchange rate.

“We don’t know who’s coming, but this is going to be a very hot potato,” Kiguel said. “Whoever comes is going to have a very complicated time.”

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