Adjustments and resignation in an impoverished country boxed in by debt. Argentina's first taste of Alberto in power.
Alberto's first month has brought with it some significant data to enter into the forecast of what's to come. As anticipated, he is a man well-versed in managing high-level power. Errors have been reduced drastically now that he is no longer watching losing situations unfold from the sidelines. Serving as president requires discretion as a basis for strengthening a loyal voter-base within the tight margin left after accounting for concessions for Cristina and the rest of the cast starring in the coalition government.
We can also see that Alberto is positioned a few degrees closer to the center than his running mate, and he lost no time in keeping this under wrap. His trademark has two axes: economic policy that is aware of fiscal restrictions and international politics that make it clear that the United States is either part of the solution or a wall to crash into.
These two axes bring to mind key features of the previous Kirchner government and perhaps provide a more factual dimension to the extraordinary decision on behalf of the former president to yield to her former Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers for top billing on the ballot.
Alberto inherited an impoverished country, with the economy in free fall and little room to maneuver around an unpayable debt - a country in the poorhouse and with little international relevance and an abysmal reputation. This is what he is left to work with. And everything points to him having consciously decided to take on this thankless reality. The G20 fantasy is over and the back-to-the-world-and-its-investment-rainfall gone with it. Adjustments, tears, and Peronism are here to stay and need containing - Peronism that must flex its muscles over the coming months when the impact of higher taxes starts to make itself felt along with the foreseeable delays in salary payments and lashing, ceaseless inflation.
The G20 fantasy is over and the back-to-the-world-and-its-investment-rainfall gone with it. Adjustments, tears, and Peronism are here to stay and need containment. The resignation - a recognition of specific deficiencies that are proposed as a central issue, responds to the minimal resources of that country - a country that is going through difficult times.
March is a pivotal month for a successful renegotiation of the debt, and that in terms of reaching an agreement would propel him into the world he so wants to enter. It would also give him legitimacy to navigate this world and would perhaps serve as an energy boost for the upcoming inevitable arm-wrestle he so firmly maintains his grip on and that would be the hallmark of his term of office.
Macri repositioned the debt, bringing it back to center stage in Argentina's problematic theater. It is his most harmful legacy and Alberto is playing with his presidency's kismet in dealing with this determining factor that is a challenge that cannot be downplayed in its magnitude and complexity.
Until now, Alberto has demonstrated his ability to make domestic policy within his coalition and has acted throughout as a prime minister-president. So far his storyline to enamor society has not exactly been all glitter and bright lights, but it has contained the sobriety demanded by an adjustment program, which is what initiated it. The Uruguayan resignation - a recognition of specific deficiencies that are proposed as a central issue, responds to the minimal resources of that country- a country that is going through difficult times. And there won't be much left for anything more than that.
Alberto speaks frequently and copiously, sometimes contradicting himself and sometimes getting angry. And in this sea of words, he slowly drips out the anesthesia, as if his main goal at this stage were to put people to sleep instead of to make them fall in love - as if he recognized that the patient was more in a recovery stage than ready to begin an adventure with a newfound lover. And in this dispassionate good sense of a hardened bureaucrat, perhaps are hidden the notes of a first month that is playing to the tune of the time in which it was destined to be played.
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