In Argentina, One Candidate's Crisis Is Another Candidate's Opportunity

Sep 28, 2018 | 10:00 GMT

In Buenos Aires, a train station and bus stops stand empty during a 24-hour general strike Sept. 25, 2018, to protest Argentine President Mauricio Macri's spending cuts.

View of Constitucion train station and empty bus stops in Buenos Aires during a 24-hours general strike, on September 25, 2018. - With no public transport or taxis running, Tuesday's strike was largely respected, as many shops remained closed and citizens found themselves unable to get to work. The strike was called to reject an austerity budget that Argentine President Mauricio Macri says is needed to secure IMF funds. (Photo by EITAN ABRAMOVICH / AFP) (Photo credit should read EITAN ABRAMOVICH/AFP/Getty Images)



  • Argentine President Mauricio Macri's administration will likely try to continue its efforts at economic reform, despite their unpopularity.
  • By pursuing further austerity measures, Macri will lose support, dimming his prospects for re-election and casting doubt on the future of Argentina's economic liberalization.
  • A corruption investigation involving Argentina's main opposition figure, Sen. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, could mar her presidential campaign, leaving fellow Peronist candidates in good stead to win the race and temper the country's economic reforms.

When Mauricio Macri won election as Argentina's president in 2015, he promised to usher in a new phase of economic and trade liberalization. Expectations were high that foreign direct investment would return to the country, that inflation would fall and that, as a result, the economy would grow. But things haven't turned out that way. In the nearly three years since Macri assumed office, Argentina reported annual economic growth only once, in 2017. Its inflation rate is expected to reach 40 percent this year, and the value of the peso has plummeted, making it the worst-performing currency in the world. The delicate financial situation prompted Macri to request a $57 billion standby loan from the International Monetary Fund -- and to accept the attending requirements to cut public spending. Facing economic disaster, Macri is now forging ahead with unpopular austerity measures that could cost him re-election next year. A corruption scandal,...

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