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Weekly Report - 28 November 2019 (WR-19-47)

ARGENTINA: Fernández provides some clues

One month on from his victory in the first round of Argentina’s presidential elections and Alberto Fernández is still keeping his cards close to his chest. Fernández plans to announce his full cabinet on 6 December, just four days before he succeeds President Mauricio Macri. Speculation abounds about the shape of Fernández’s future economic team, and his economic plan of governance, but he dropped two big hints this week. He named a moderate Peronist as the future head of the national statistics institute (Indec), which lost its reputation as the purveyor of reliable economic data under former president Cristina Fernández (2007-2015), now the vice-president-elect. He also suggested that his government would not seek the remaining tranche of Argentina’s US$57bn credit agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avoid becoming engorged with debt.

During a television interview on 26 November, President-elect Fernández revealed that Marco Lavagna would be the future head of Indec. Lavagna is an economist and federal deputy for the moderate Peronist Frente Renovador (FR) faction led by Sergio Massa, which forms part of the incoming Frente de Todos coalition. He is also the son of Roberto Lavagna, a former economy minister whose offer of a ‘third way’ was rejected by voters in October’s polarised presidential contest as he trailed in a distant third.

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