Mauricio Macri left power with an inflation rate of 53.8%, the highest – at that time – in 28 years. What until very recently for Kirchnerism caused almost a discursive ecstasy and served to explain its own mistakes will soon be a dagger in the neck. The rise in prices will be located -and perhaps remain anchored, according to private projections- at nearly double. The mirror returns other dark images. The management of Cambiemos said goodbye with 35.5% poor and 8% indigent. It seemed, and was, a horror, but on Tuesday the INDEC determined that the poor Argentines today represent 36.5% and the indigent 8.8% and the figures could become even more dramatic for the next measurement. The UCA Observatory warns that poverty would jump to 40% and homelessness to about 10% if a rapid decline in inflation is not achieved. For that, it is vital to narrow the exchange gap and the trend is cruel: on December 10, 2019, the blue dollar was trading at 70 pesos, the official one at 63 and the disparity with the financial dollars reached 21%; this Friday, the legal dollar closed at 147 pesos, the blue at 288 and the gap with the financial dollars scratched 115%.
Alberto Fernández had three Economy Ministers since his arrival and he said goodbye, unsuccessfully from what can be seen, of a good part of the original Cabinet. At least two ministers who are here today would prefer to leave and several of those who cling to the chair want to kick them out. The President quarreled in private and in public with Cristina so many times that currently they have considered it healthier to ignore each other. Alberto could not even name the attorney. The Government tried the adjustment of Martín Guzmán and the plan was frustrated; abruptly turned to the “Silver Plan” and is now trying again with another adjustment, to the liking of the IMF. The mid-term elections were lost and, for the first time since 1983, a head of the Peronist block in Deputies (not just any one: Máximo Kirchner) resigned with offenses directed at the president.
The clock ticks too fast for the Front of All. In ten months we will have to vote again and the climate of social impatience has become dense. One thing is that the Government is run by Javier Milei or Patricia Bullrich from the right and another is that they also get thrusts from the left. Trotskyism blocked the main avenue of the country for 48 hours, it has young militants who could dispute the takeovers in schools and adult militants who have just generated an extraordinary conflict in the tire union, with millionaire losses that impacted the automotive companies.
The suburban postcard, the sacred territory of Kirchnerism, reflects to what extent the story breaks off. There is more informal employment than in the Macri era and less real salary. The workers of this universe, who are the majority, are losing by ten points the race against rising prices, especially against basic necessities. The neighborhood militants have detected a phenomenon that shakes them: Fractionated sugar is sold at some fairs.
These numbers and not others; this political and social situation and no other; these evidences for which the Oh but Macri They are the ones that torment Cristina and the ones that definitively worry her faithful. Until a while ago the axis of evil was concentrated in the Casa Rosada. It was a beautiful contraption. But it is something else that is beginning to change.
Kirchnerism cornered Alberto Fernández so much that the focus ceased to be on Balcarce 50. That is why the president can go to New York and try out guitars. Or receive guests at breakfast to discuss issues that go beyond politics. Or that is why some ministers transform the meetings into off the record with journalists in long lunches (sometimes in well-reserved places in top areas of the Conurbano “to be away from the quilombo”). Who is to blame now?
Even those who see in Cristina a supernatural leader who should be worshiped begin to timidly wonder what the future is, the road map to retain, if the presidency cannot be achieved, the province of Buenos Aires, the majority in the Senate and all possible mayors. One of those leaders says: “Even she may not know exactly where we are going politically. she is very overwhelmed”. Judicial matters are always a wakefulness that disrupt the agenda. She believes that everything will be worse in court if her power at the polls declines. She has reasons.
The temptation to entrench her electoral base (one of the golden rules that govern Cristina’s conduct) could explain the first thrusts towards Sergio Massa. His criticism on Twitter caused strong debates in the universe that goes from the PJ to La Cámpora. Why did he do it? Isn’t everything settled with him? A sector tried to slip that it was not a stick in the wheel of the Minister of Economy, but simply a release product of the anger. Those who trust this hypothesis maintain that Massa is -excuse the expression- “doing what has to be done”.
But there are other readings. Cristina would not have liked the position of the Government in the conflict with Fate, Bridgestone and Pirelli, which until the end seemed -according to her exegetes- more likely to defend employers than workers. He also hammered again on how to stand up to food companies, an issue that he often talks with Axel Kicillof. She was critical of Guzmán and today she is with at least two men from Massa’s economic team.
In recent days, hurtful words have been heard against Matías Tombolini, the Secretary of Commerce. “It is not up to scratch”is the least they say. His staging to try to solve the lack of figurines for the World Cup will accompany him from now on as much as the old spot in his kitchen. It is worse for Gabriel Rubinstein. As in the times when he made fun of Cristina for being corrupt, he broke into Twitter again, this time to correct her for her view that a price intervention policy would be more effective against price spikes. Such heresy caused new anger: “The next one will have to go”, the boss’s unconditional men threatened. The deputy minister tried to repair the error later with an old Kirchnerist vice: he said that he had been misunderstood.
The conflict in the tire plants was closely followed by the former president. Alberto Fernández, after several requests from his main collaborators, dove into the subject. Massa made her contribution at that point, when her staff criticized Claudio Moroni, the Minister of Labor. “He is unable to solve this”they pointed
Fernández communicated several times with his friend Moroni, one of the few he was able to keep in his post, despite the constant acid rain that Kirchnerism throws at him. Moroni was saved by his link with the CGT, although this week more than one let go of his hand, especially when Pablo Moyano he arrogated the right to poke his nose in the name of the government.
Pressured by his own and others, on Wednesday at noon Moroni called the cell phone of Javier Madanes Quintanilla, the CEO of Fate, the toughest of executives. The businessman was at the Argentine Tennis Club. He had gone to lunch with a group of friends.
“Loosen up and fix this. I advise you to be more flexible,” said the minister.
“Let’s loosen up?” Did they take your ministry and we have to loosen up? Madan replied.
His companions interrupted what they were doing to plunge into the dialogue in disbelief. They whispered among themselves: “Is he really the minister?”
—You will be to blame if the country comes to a standstill. Very serious things are going to happen,” Moroni insisted.
“It’s going to be more serious if we allow ourselves to be extorted,” said Madanes Quintanilla.
The talk ended with shouts. It was so violent that on Thursday morning Fate’s owner had no choice but to send Moroni an apology.
The solution was expected for that day at 13. The first approaches failed. The trade union delegates and the business and ministry representatives then got involved in a deliberation that lasted 16 hours straightalthough -to be precise- it should not be overlooked that they spread during six months and 34 meetings.
The light arrived at 3.40 in the morning. The officials slept with their cell phones on the bedside table. Signed tire agreement!José De Mendiguren, the Secretary of Industry, wrote by WhatsApp. The message entered his contacts at 5:50.
The country had not yet dawned.