Next Wednesday, the president, Alberto Fernandez, will meet with his counterpart from the United States, Joe Biden. Beyond the protocol meeting, the Argentine president will go in search of oxygen to reach December and finish his management. That is, political accompaniment and, if possible, access to fresh funds.
Alberto Fernández will arrive at the conclave in the Oval Room of the White House after more than three years in office and with a host of unresolved problems, which will make it difficult to convey a message of optimism to Biden about the future of Argentina.
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Fall in reserves, slowdown in the economy, collapse in revenue due to the drought and the permanent escalation of inflation are some of the various drawbacks of the current economic situation that is punishing the country.
In parallel and at the local political level, more and more officials and governors agree that the weakness of the presidential and leadership figure of Alberto Fernández reached one of its worst moments.
Alberto Fernández participated in the inauguration of the Summit of the Americas and was received by the US president, Joe Biden. He showed her the photo of his son Francisco on his cell phone (Photo: Presidency).
Even the surveys commissioned by some provincial leaders began to report a deterioration in their images. Such would be the case of Jorge Capitanich in Chaco. In this context, the former chief of staff, Juan Manzur (Tucumán), would be excepted.
That explains the decision that sixteen provinces have chosen to advance their electoral calendar to guarantee victory in their districts far from the presidential election. Better to ensure an early victory than to accompany Alberto or some candidate blessed by Cristina Kirchner’s finger, they calculate.
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However, they collide with a reality: inflation is still very high and makes them less competitive, agree two presidents. For this reason, none of them is raising their profile either, except for Juan Schiaretti from Cordoba, who has no re-election.
Better wait. Peronism needs to create a candidate. But until May no one will show their ambitions. In other words, Biden knows that he is receiving a Peronist president who will not be re-elected and, furthermore, he can intuit that the next presidential turn will be for the opposition.
Meeting of President Alberto Fernández in Casa Rosada with governors and deputy governors (Photo: Télam).
In this context, what sense can the bilateral meeting have? Argentina needs money and also that the IMF, where the US vote is decisive, continue to accompany the current management.
Biden has already postponed the meeting with Alberto twice. These were meetings that, strictly speaking, were never fully incorporated into the agenda of the President of the United States.
Now, with the end of Alberto’s term and without any deep commercial negotiations between the two countries on commercial matters, the handshake between Alberto and Biden will not mean a leap in the bilateral relationship at all. Something different from what just happened with Brazil: Lula took office in January and Biden has already received it.
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In short, Alberto and the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, who will also be at the meeting, will try to gain oxygen, that is, a possible assistance from the North American Treasury, some line of credit that means a relief for the BCRA reserves or the continuity the support of the IMF, which should be more flexible with Argentina given the growing difficulties to meet the quarterly goals.
The drought, the drop in revenue and the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine are recurring arguments in requests for help from our country. In Santo Domingo, Alberto incorporated the impact of the new banking crisis. Massa will try to negotiate some work mechanism to compensate for those losses.