Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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HomeBusinessArgentina’s new Economy Chief sworn in after chaotic weekend

Argentina’s new Economy Chief sworn in after chaotic weekend

On Monday, Silvina Batakis got sworn in as Argentina’s new Economy Minister after her predecessor, Martin Guzman, abruptly resigned on Saturday. His resignation left President Alberto Fernández to scramble when looking for a replacement.

Batakis’ political party is left-leaning, while Guzman’s is known to be of a moderate standing. In an interview Monday, Batakis promised she would not change the government’s economic plans and prioritize fighting against inflation. Guzman also played a vital role in the $44 billion deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), something that, without his presence, the citizens fear losing. 

With news of Guzman stepping down, and many people withdrawing money from their accounts over the weekend, online bank account holders reportedly had to wait five minutes to log into their accounts. Guzman leaves his role as Argentina is battling a 61 % annual inflation rate.

 On the same day, Batakis got sworn in, the country’s currency, the pesos, plummeted after taking a massive hit to 280 pesos per dollar, setting a record low. With analysts fearing Argentina’s IMF deal may be at risk with Batakis as Economy Minister due to her political leaning, Monday’s black market worsened Argentina’s economic situation due to the deficits and rise in inflation.

Batakis is close to Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who has publicly criticized the IMF. This fact sways many concerns. 

Poverty and inflation rates have remained high in Argentina since December, with economists predicting a recession this year. Batakis assumes her new role at one of the most inopportune times, bracing for her future of working hard in her new position.



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