"The new Argentine president must quickly overcome internal divisions"

To face a degraded economic and social situation, Alberto Fernandez, centrist Peronist elected at the head of the country Sunday, October 27, will have to constitute "a government of broad base", estimates the economist, in a tribune to the "World".

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Tribune. Alberto Fernandez, the Peronist candidate of the Frente de todos (Front of all), imposed himself as expected, during the first round of the presidential election of Argentina held Sunday, October 27. It will face significant challenges in a country entangled in a serious economic and social crisis. A country which, moreover, is a "habitué" of crises and perceived from the outside, as blocked and unreliable, because of its exacerbated internal conflictuality and repeated incidents of external payments. This perception results, in fact, from two closely related factors.

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In the first place, Argentina is characterized by the absence of stable socio-institutional compromises that can give coherence and long-term sustainability to the development process. This is the result of the constant confrontation, for almost a century, between two antagonistic blocs. On the one hand, a "liberal-openurist" socio-economic bloc, the project of which was recently brought by the government of the current president, Mauricio Macri; it includes the search for the most favorable relative prices for agricultural and agri-food exports, which constitute the strong point of the country's international specialization, and an economic opening intended to attract foreign capital. On the other hand, a "national-developmentist" bloc, associated with the orientations of the governments of the "traditional" Peronism of the years 1940-1950. And more recently, between 2003 and 2015, those of Nestor and Cristina Kirchner, who, from a very active role of the State, aim at strengthening the domestic market and a more self-centered industrial development.

"The inability to build political coalitions to implement a development strategy is a decisive explanation of the Argentine enigma"

Secondly, one of the salient features of Argentina is a persistent external constraint that prevents the economy from growing at a steady pace. Hence the recurring external financing crises associated with current account deficits and their consequences in terms of devaluation, chronic and high inflation, intensified struggles over income distribution and dollarization of portfolios and transactions that have been the basis of speculative, short-term behavior. The results are clear: between 1975 and 2018, Argentina grew by 1.9% per year, compared to just over 3% in Latin America during the same period.


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