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Sergio Massa, intimate, and a surprise offer to Mauricio Macri

Smoke blue. Not the free dollar, the US ticket that is bought in places that are, supposedly, clandestine, and whose price rose this week. Up to a record level. Five hundred and seventy-four pesos was quoted for a blue dollar on Friday at the close of the markets.

The Minister of Economy and the main presidential candidate of the Union for the Fatherland (UP), Sergio Massa, does not smoke dollars, not him in person. what smokes They are Dutch Café Creme brand cigarettes. Blue flavor. That’s what they’re called.

Smoke a blue and another blue. They should last you five minutes. They last less. The anxiety. Although those who frequented it in recent days, so many people, leave with the opposite feeling. Massa, in private, is perceived poised.

The UP candidate, that is, from the Justicialista Party (PJ), began the week feeling the effect of the defeat of Peronism in Chubut which will be governed by Ignacio Torres, from the opposition Juntos por el Cambio. And also announcing the limit of the due dates of the debt with the IMF that it would pay that organization with two new loans. One, worth one billion dollars, was granted to the country by the Andean Development Community (CAF). Its owner is the Argentine, Christian Ansinelli.

It also added yuan from China.

AND surprised with a credit that came from Qatar. He had been negotiating it in secret, although his intention had initially been leaked, which is why the opposition economists were surprised, as they had ignored this possible deal with the country led by Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani. On Friday, then, all the debts that Argentina owed corresponding to August, that is, the month of the PASO, were paid to the fund.

Massa now hopes that, after the primaries, the Fund will officially approve the pre-agreement already announced that will mean the shipment from Washington of around 7.3 billion dollars.

The version of the minister and presidential candidate is that the head of the IMF, Kristalina Giorgeva, He always knew about the confidential negotiations with Qatar and the CAF.

The deal with Qatar began to take shape last summer, when in a meeting at the IMF headquarters, Massa created a bond of friendship with his Qatari counterpart, Ali bin Ahmed Al Kawari, whom he calls “Ali”, just plain.

He later helped, although tangentially, the man who manages the business of the Qatari sheikh in the country, the former tennis player Gastón Gaudio.

Massa, on Friday night, poised perhaps for calming down the markets, ended the day by returning to his offices on Avenida del Libertador at 800.

He walked slowly into the largest office, his. He greeted an interlocutor who was waiting for him to talk about the problems of the economy and politics: the rise in inflation that he could not stop, the IMF, the blue dollar and its record price, the lack of reserves in the BCRA, the social crisis and the increase of poverty in Argentina. These are issues that he must resolve from his position as minister, to which he added his role as presidential candidate Massa he sat in a brown Chesterfield chair instead of his desk. He looked at his cell phone, chatted, ordered a soda, ate a sandwich, all at the same time but without rushing, and stopping, with interest, at the wall in front of him. Four huge flat-screen TVs line one wall, always tuned to news channels.

Clarion He reconstructed that scene thanks to unbeatable contacts who often dialogue with the minister and candidate.

There are only seven days left for the vote in the PASO to define, in part, its future. And, above all, that of the country.

Massa opened up in front of his visitor, the last one he would see in a meeting after a hectic week. One more.

“Argentina is bankrupt economically, yes. We are, one could say, now transiting through two calls for creditors. One is with the IMF. The other with the private bondholders”, described the scenario that lacerates an impoverished and disenchanted society with the ruling class.

And he continued “We got the money we needed to pay the IMF thanks to the loan from Qatar. Few believed me when I announced that I was negotiating with that country. And well, what I knew was going to happen happened, so much so that the opposition criticized me. The money from the new agreement with the Fund will come in August. With that disbursement we will arrive until December.

Massa surprises the person who questions him about his historical confrontation with Mauricio Macri, founder of PRO.

The presidential candidate of UP, whose good part of its leadership chose Macri as its political enemy.

It happens that the presidential candidate lets it be known that, if he were to become President after winning the elections, he would offer Macri an ambassadorship.

He says it like this, always according to the aforementioned sources: “Macri, like any former President of our country who is willing to help, should be an ambassador for Argentina. All former presidents could be ambassadors. It is an honor for Argentina that its former leaders represent us before the world. Even Macri, yes ”, he surprised again before whom, the minister knew that he could filter this news.

Massa, despite claiming to be aware of the economic, political and social crisis suffered by society, considers that will obtain a very considerable flow of votes in the PASO.

He even claims that could be the candidate with the most votes individually in the elections next Sunday. It is an analysis that excites Peronism, where several territorial leaders disagree with such a positive first election.

The same diagnosis of the Government, at least until Friday night, which is based on polls under suspicion due to the high abstention that could be in the electorate summoned to vote in the PASO at the national level, indicates that after Massa the one who would obtain the most votes could be the libertarian Javier Milei.

Although the sum of the votes that the two pre-candidates of the PASO de Juntos por el Cambio, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and Patricia Bullrich, would obtain, will be greater if they are added together.

Regarding the internal opposition, for Massa, there will be a winner: Patricia Bullrich would prevail over Rodríguez Larreta. There are still seven days left, a long time even if it is little.

How is it possible that, being in charge of managing the economy in total crisis, Massa is also a candidate for President and, according to analysis and field samples, both from the opposition and from the ruling party, can even reach the PASO in a competitive position?

Massa seems to alliterate Perón with his response: “The opposition fights among themselves, it does not show a better or clear plan for society to see that there are alternatives. It’s not serious. The others are worse. Peronism was ordered behind my candidacy and that helps”, he enthuses.

He swears that he understands that the problems of the economy are his responsibility. And he adds, to top it off, that they could become more complex.

The government would not be surprised if the markets generate a run against the peso. “Always, in elections, there are sectors of the markets that try to destabilize. But we are going to fight if that happens. Of the funds sent by the IMF, around 4 billion dollars will be used to stop speculators with the dollar”, Massa recounted.

The pre-candidate admits that his work was not efficient: “If I had 40,000 green sticks in the Central Bank, we could seriously program an anti-inflation plan. But there are no reservations. Macri requested a loan from the IMF that is unpayable. The agreement is being fulfilled, despite everything. And it is an agreement that generates inflation, although it is not the only cause of the rise in prices”.

Massa, advised by his communication team and the Catalan Antonio Gutiérrez-Rubí, will try to campaign in the remaining days until the PASO, strengthening what the focus groups return as positive aspects of the figure of the minister-candidate, and of UP in general. These studies indicate that part of the electorate considers that Massa makes decisions firmly, that he orders even a little the chaos of the ruling party, that he has management capacity and determination.

Not much more.

Massa decided to campaign for his side. Without the company of Cristina Kirchner or the President.

“I am me. Can anyone seriously believe that Cristina can call me to condition me? ”, She got upset when they asked her about this possible situation.

Today, the minister and presidential candidate will lead an act at the Ferro stadium convened by social organizations.

Massa’s rival in the PASO, Juan Grabois, with media coverage and belonging to those movements, does not worry Massa, said Massa himself. Although his figure grows.

It will be seen when next Sunday.

Deputy Máximo Kirchner, meanwhile, he deals with the districts in which his group, La Cámpora, can promote new candidates with some success, or in the cities in which they could be elected their own mayors. Kirchner is in charge of reviewing, town by town, the votes that the PJ obtained in the 2021 legislatures. For that, he calls each community chief and asks what they need to sustain that base that Peronism does not want to lose.

It was not officially informed where, when and how the closing act of the ruling party will be before the STEP.

Massa will first visit provinces such as Santa Fe, will go to the suburbs together with the CGT and will participate in the closure of the Buenos Aires governor, Axel Kiciloff.

Meanwhile, and in silence, he says that he is reducing state spending without affecting the items that can be used to generate good news.

The governors call him to ask for more money. Massa, he calculates, is now in charge of eighty percent of the National Administration.

It is one and the other at the same time.

candidate and minister.

He finished negotiating the final agreement with Qatar in an armed dressing room for a formal meeting with a zoom with the authorities of that country. It was in the same stadium where a while before he spoke as a candidate for the Presidency in front of 30,000 people from La Rioja.

Massa stared all Friday night at the four screens reflecting the news in front of him. He at times he appeared in all at the same time. He got angry with some comments. He laughed with others.

On the shelves of his office there are photos where he is seen hugging Messi, Maradona, Tevez, Federer, Riquelme, Biden and Clinton.

A large painting by the artist who was his friend, Páez Vilaró, stands out. There are two virgins to whom he raises his prayers. Flags of Argentina. An award given to him by the DAIA. Photos with his children and his wife, Malena Galmarini.

In recent days, he met with the Ministry of Security, the UIF and the AFIP to organize controls on the “caves” that sell the free dollar.

Massa left his office on Friday when it was already Saturday. A few minutes past midnight.

Thus ended another week. One less for choice.

It will continue to look at the blue. And smoking blue.

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