“Argentina has no future”: Peronists face voter anger in the midterm

Silvia Ramírez, a 62-year-old pensioner in Buenos Aires, started working again because her pension was “crushed” by inflation, but she still continued to work because of rising prices. It is difficult to pay the basic expenses.

“Argentina has no future,” she said. “People like me who want to retire completely have no future, and young people have no future.”

Ramirez’s plan to vote against the ruling Peron Party in Sunday’s mid-term congressional elections is part of the public’s anger at the left-wing government’s handling of the economy and the economy. Coronavirus pandemic.

Opinion polls show that the center-right opposition coalition leads by about 10 percentage points. This result may cause the country’s Peronist president, Alberto Fernández, to lose his majority in the Senate. Half of the seats in the House of Commons and one-third of the seats in the Senate need to be elected.

A severe loss in the midterm elections may make Fernandez a lame leader for the remainder of his term and enable the opposition to regain the presidency in 2023.

Fernández imposed one of the longest Covid-19 lockdowns in Latin America, which hit the economy, but after adjusting for population size, it failed to prevent deaths that were almost as serious as neighbouring Brazil.

Photo Show him that he is ignoring the rules At the height of the blockade, a birthday party for his partner in the presidential residence angered the Argentines. Delays in vaccine procurement and scandals of well-connected Peronists jumping in line have made the situation worse.

Juan Germano of Isonomía, a polling consultancy, said his latest survey showed that Fernández’s approval rating had dropped to 33%, while his more radical Vice President Christina Fernández de Kirchner’s The support rate is even lower, at 31%. “This country is in a very difficult situation,” he said. “Inflation is like a pressure cooker waiting to explode.”

In order to win voters before the election, the government increased some of the welfare payments funded by the central bank’s banknote printing, and frozen the prices of more than 1,400 household products until January, including liqueur, absinthe, and cat food.

In the year ending in September, the inflation rate was 52.5%, one of the highest in the world, and economists worry that it might be higher next year. The government insists that its policy will control prices.

“We believe that inflation is being hit by consistent macroeconomic policies, which enables Argentina’s net exports to grow in a sustained manner, and the rate of currency issuance can be reduced to a rate that is compatible with the country’s countercyclical role to support the recovery,” Minister of Economy Martín Guzmán said in an interview with the British “Financial Times”.

“We believe that price and income policies are necessary factors for an economy to solve the problem of macroeconomic coordination.”

But economists say that this method has been tried countless times before, but they have all failed.

Argentine President Alberto Fernández (left) and Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s approval rating dropped to nearly 30% © Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty

“Needless to say, in our view, this policy is unlikely to curb inflation,” Citibank said of the price freeze. “We believe that the price control measures announced by the authorities prove that they have exhausted their tools to fight inflation.”

Argentine business leaders vote with their feet. More than 20 leading figures, including oil billionaire Alejandro Bulgheroni and soybean king Gustavo Grobocopatel, live across the riverbed. Neighboring Uruguay, where the economy is more stable, and the tax system is more friendly.

Since the ninth default in foreign debt last year, Argentina has cut most of its external financing. In August last year, the government reached an agreement with private creditors to restructure US$65 billion in debt, but with the opposition of Peronists, hopes for a quick agreement with the International Monetary Fund for another US$45 billion have been dashed. Strengthened their negotiating position.

Investors are frightened. As concerns about depreciation intensify, the black-market dollar is trading at almost twice the official exchange rate, and Guzman insists that this will not happen.

Horacio Lareta, the mayor of Buenos Aires, is an opposition politician who wants to take advantage of popular dissatisfaction. Re-elected in 2019, he has won a high approval rate as an efficient city manager. Now he is campaigning vigorously on behalf of opposition congressional candidates, and at the same time promotes his qualifications as a candidate for president in 2023.

After helping unite the opposition, Laretta hopes to bridge the political divide to save the economy. He told the British “Financial Times”: “The only way to repair the Argentine economy is to develop a plan that gains consensus and gains a broader base of support.”

this Terrible state of the country It also prompted a surge in support for more radical politicians. Javier Milei, a self-proclaimed “vibrant anarchist capitalist,” is running for Congress in Buenos Aires. His campaign for liberalism includes the abolition of the central bank, free love and opposition to abortion.

His statement that the central bank has become a “criminal organization that harms the poorest” because of its large amount of money printing may resonate with many Argentines who are worried about inflation. In a country with fresh memories of the 1982 Falkland Islands War, his admiration for Margaret Thatcher seems more risky.

In the context of economic chaos and political instability, more and more people choose to emigrate. A recent study by the consulting firm Taquion Research found that if possible, eight out of ten working-age Argentines would leave the country. Despite the coronavirus border restrictions, 130,000 people left the country to work or study abroad in the first nine months of this year.

Laura Ledesma, a 33-year-old resident of Buenos Aires, was one of the thousands who chose Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, as their destination. She decided to leave Argentina in June because “my salary is decreasing every month.”

She told the British “Financial Times”: “The situation in Argentina has become much more difficult than they needed.” “So I left.”

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