Argentina: Between a rock and a hard place | International
In two weeks the second round of the presidential elections in Argentina will take place. The candidates are Javier Milei, an exotic libertarian with radical proposals, who will face a representative of the ruling party, Sergio Massa, the current Minister of Economy. In the first round, Massa led the results by obtaining 37% of the votes, while Milei received 30% and Patricia Bullrich, from the alliance that brought Macri to the Presidency in 2015, was left out with only 24%.
The results of the first round were surprising, considering not only the results of the mandatory primary elections, but also what the polls anticipated, which gave Milei as a large favorite. However, the polls were fundamentally correct, that the runoff would be between Milei and Massa, which implied the emptying of the center-right position, represented by Bullrich, and the strengthening of the most polarizing positions. Thus, Argentina now finds itself facing a tremendous dilemma: either it endorses Peronism for four more years, with Sergio Massa as president, or it elects Javier Milei, that strange character who offers miraculous proposals and solutions to a tired and desperate Argentine people. .
A comparison between the results of the primaries and the first round reveals some interesting things. On the one hand, the hard vote for Milei is 30%, that is the percentage she obtained in both processes. These voters most likely will not change their minds, no matter how much they are warned about the risks of electing someone like Milei. On the ruling party's side, her vote rose from 27% in the primaries (adding the votes of Massa and Grabois) to 37% in the first round, a notable increase of 10 percentage points. This was the result of greater mobilization in the traditional urban strongholds of Peronism-Kirchnerism, although it possibly also occurred as a result of a realignment of voters concerned about the rise of Milei. This rearrangement in part explains the hollowing out of support for Bullrich, since his coalition, Together for Change, fell from 28% in the primaries to 24% in the first round.
Thus, the key to the second round elections is what Bullrich voters will do, who has already openly expressed their support for Milei's candidacy. For the runoff, Peronism possibly starts with a certain advantage, having not only the 37% it obtained in the first round, but also an additional 4-7% obtained by other parties closer to its political position. The key, then, continues to lie in the voters who brought Macri to power in 2015 and who voted for Bullrich in the first round. The vast majority of these voters are furiously opposed to the current Government and will most likely choose to vote for Milei or, where appropriate, to abstain. It will be enough, however, for a certain percentage of them to be sufficiently averse to the risk that the Milei option represents, to give the ruling party victory.
Regardless of what happens in Sunday's elections, a crucial issue is what will happen to the Argentine economy. There, neither of the two options seems to offer a real alternative to the underlying problems. The situation is critical: inflation close to 140% annually, poverty has grown from 26% in 2017 to 40% in 2023, indigence has almost doubled from 5% in 2017 to 9.3% in 2023, and The country is drowned by a very high external debt, important short-term commitments and an acute shortage of international reserves.
To address these problems, Milei offers quasi-magical solutions: dollarize the economy, disappear the Central Bank and eliminate Ministries, among many other things. This proposal makes no sense or economic viability. In a context of currency shortages, dollarization is a utopia. The country does not have foreign currency to even meet its most urgent commitments and has had to rely on lines of credit from China. In this context, the simple triumph of Milei would bring, first of all, a devaluation and a very significant price adjustment. Afterwards, the recession would come, motivated by the adjustment in relative prices between tradable and non-tradable goods. The economic adjustment would be tremendous and recovery from a shock of that magnitude would take years.
Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.
On the other hand, you already know what you have. Massa has been the Minister of Economy for just over a year. He has had to face the delicate economic situation that Argentina is experiencing. In July 2022, Massa replaced Silvina Batakis, who did not last even a month in office, and who had previously replaced Martín Guzmán, who was Minister of Economy from 2019 to 2022. The situation has not improved one bit since this began. administration. If anything, it has gotten worse. It is true that the conditions left by Macri were extremely complicated, but the Fernández Administration did not know how to deal with the circumstances and did not dare to take the difficult measures that should have been taken to confront the situation. Instead, Fernández tried to manage the crisis and that is how it has gone. The question remains as to what exactly Massa would do to improve the economy. Today, as a candidate, he makes promises of change. However, the incentives to keep those promises can easily change once elected. It would not be the first time that a Peronist candidate postponed difficult decisions once in power.
Thus, Argentina will face a real dilemma in two weeks: continuity or change. Milei offers change and is the option of the crowds who support the slogan “let them all go!” Argentines, fed up with Macrismo and Peronism, could opt for this option in a fit of boredom. On the contrary, Massa offers them more of the same, more of what they already know and that has not necessarily produced good results. If Massa keeps what he promises and finally makes the necessary fiscal adjustment, the Argentine economy and society will go through difficult times, but they could eventually move forward. If he doesn't comply, things will continue as they are and could quickly deteriorate. The choices are difficult. Argentina is between a rock and a hard place. Or, perhaps better said, between the sword and the void.
Subscribe here to the EL PAÍS México newsletter and receive all the key information on current events in this country
Subscribe to continue reading
Read without limits
- Allow me to introduce myself. I am Nathan Rivera, a dedicated journalist who has had the privilege of writing for the online newspaper Today90. My journey in the world of journalism has been a testament to the power of dedication, integrity, and passion.
My story began with a relentless thirst for knowledge and an innate curiosity about the events shaping our world. I graduated with honors in Investigative Journalism from a renowned university, laying the foundation for what would become a fulfilling career in the field.
What sets me apart is my unwavering commitment to uncovering the truth. I refuse to settle for superficial answers or preconceived narratives. Instead, I constantly challenge the status quo, delving deep into complex issues to reveal the reality beneath the surface. My dedication to investigative journalism has uncovered numerous scandals and shed light on issues others might prefer to ignore.
I am also a staunch advocate for press freedom. I have tirelessly fought to protect the rights of journalists and have faced significant challenges in my quest to inform the public truthfully and without constraints. My courage in defending these principles serves as an example to all who believe in the power of journalism to change the world.
Throughout my career, I have been honored with numerous awards and recognitions for my outstanding work in journalism. My investigations have changed policies, exposed corruption, and given a voice to those who had none. My commitment to truth and justice makes me a beacon of hope in a world where misinformation often prevails.
At Today90, I continue to be a driving force behind journalistic excellence. My tireless dedication to fair and accurate reporting is an invaluable asset to the editorial team. My biography is a living testament to the importance of journalism in our society and a reminder that a dedicated journalist can make a difference in the world.
- Sports30/11/2023IOC does not speak out against the increase in transport costs for Paris 2024
- 🔥 War30/11/2023The US Environmental Protection Agency proposes replacing all lead pipes in the country within a decade | International
- Celebrities30/11/2023They propose to Nashla from Atrévete a Soñar on the Hoy program
- Celebrities30/11/2023Former champion Mariana Rocha is blackmailed with nude photos made with AI