December 13, 2019
1. Alberto Fernández inaugurated as Argentina’s president
Alberto Fernández became president of Argentina as head of a Peronist coalition with former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as vice president. With his cabinet already confirmed, Mauricio Macri’s successor took the oath of office in front of a joint legislative assembly. On his first day as head of state, Fernández was joined by Chancellor Felipe Solá, Secretary of Strategic Issues for the Presidency Gustavo Béliz and Jorge Argüello to have lunch with Michael Kozak, the head of the U.S. diplomatic mission to Argentina. To conclude, he oversaw the oaths of office for the ministers who will make up his cabinet and ended the day with a speech before citizens who gathered outside of the presidential office at la Casa Rosada.
2. Newly-inaugurated Minister of Finance gives first press conference
Minister of Finance Martín Guzmán held his first press conference, discussing the country’s economic situation, debt payments and a bill designed to halt the recession. Moreover, he highlighted that Argentina will have to recover economically to be able to pay off its debts, and, in order to calm markets, stated that his administration will attempt to curb the deficit and printing of money in 2020. Additionally, he introduced his team: Raúl Rigo (Finance), Diego Bastourre (Finance), Haroldo Montagu (Economic Policy) and Roberto Arias (Fiscal Policy). The director of the International Relations Unit, Maia Colodenco, will also join the economic team. Sergio Chodos will be nominated to Cono Sur director of the IMF. Additionally, he confirmed that he will create a unit to renegotiate Argentina’s debt, made up of former secretaries of finance.
3. Fernández attends inauguration of the governors of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe and Entre Ríos
Axel Kicillof took the oath of office for the province of Buenos Aires in the presence of President Alberto Fernández, Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and outgoing governor María Eugenia Vidal. The new governor expressed his wish for the province to “return to being a productive – and not speculative – province.” In the province of Santa Fe, Governor Omar Perotti, assumed office, where Fernández declared that the Paraná-Paraguay waterway will change from federal to provincial hands. “The waterway should be governed by the provinces that actually have it and use it,” the President stated. The President also attended the inauguration Entre Ríos Governor Gustavo Bordet, where he lauded the change in governors “beyond partisan affiliations”.
4. Evo Morales to stay in Argentina
Former Bolivian president Evo Morales arrived in Argentina on Thursday morning, following his stay in Mexico as a political exile. “We have given him asylum so he can enter the country, but they are currently reviewing the request for refuge, which is a different condition and must be approved by the Ministry of the Interior. The difference between asylum and refuge is that this last status is regulated. Asylum, on the other hand, is unregulated […] Additionally, we want Evo to promise not to make political declarations from Argentina. That is a condition that we asked of him,” he clarified to the Minister of Foreign Relations and Worship, Felipe Solá.
5. Government agrees on extraordinary congressional session before the end of the year
The government will send to Congress the Solidarity and Productive Reactivation project, which includes the Economic, Social and Food emergencies, to be approved before December 31. These regulations delegate extraordinary powers to the Executive Branch. In the case of the Economic Emergency, the initiative was previously discussed and approved in January 2002, at the height of the economic and social crisis, and lasted until 2016. In this sense, the Executive Power resolved, through decree 33/2019, the call for extraordinary sessions which, unlike the extension of the ordinary session, allows the President to decide which topics will be dealt with.