“We don't negotiate, people are going to judge them.” Karina Milei cuts off the call of a leader who was fighting this week to speed up an agreement. He is in his office. The posture is not outward. She is the one who convincingly supports the triad that makes up the President, her and Santiago Caputo. “We see that those who did not accompany are going to be rejected by the people,” she insists to her interlocutor at that moment.
These are transcendent hours, which will define the relationship between the Government and the opposition. Even after the general approval of the Omnibus Law in Deputies, the end is not written. The unstable balance that the governors promoted has already been broken. The Executive believes that what it lost on the premises by giving up articles it gained in the narrative of confrontation with caste.
Beyond the Omnibus Law, there is only one agenda that obsesses Milei: the one he transmitted to the Wall Street Journal journalist. Zero deficit, the end of the stocks, buying dollars and reaching the monetary base that would allow dollarization much sooner than you dream. Is she going to do it? He does not lack desire, although the Minister of Economy suffers every time he returns with that topic.
Read also: The President did what he did not want to avoid a defeat in Congress with the Omnibus Law
The end of the dialogueists?
The reality is much more hostile. Two worlds happen in parallel. The “dialogueists” begin to look at the Government's movements with bewilderment. They no longer see cunning but rather amateurism. Nobody fully understood the game with the Bases law.
The debate on the Omnibus Law was resumed on the third day of sessions.
The “Governors+Head of Government” chat, which brings together for the first time the leaders of all parties and Jorge Macri of CABA, was born as a friendly, pro-consensus exchange and this week became a group that vents its fury against the Casa Rosada . They were very close to writing a statement repudiating the retweet that Milei gave to Joaquín de la Torre: “What the deputies of the 'extortion bloc' really want is to continue living from the business of politics. They had no problem giving extraordinary powers to CFK, Alberto and Kicillof. “They were always comfortable with the progressive and statist model.”
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Mauricio Macri and Javier Milei
It was still daylight in Villa La Angostura, even though it was almost nine at night. Southern summer delights. Mauricio Macri looked at Lake Nahuel Huapi from his house in Cumelen, but the TV didn't turn on. The Omnibus Law was being debated in the middle of the Buenos Aires heat, the tension in the streets that border Congress had just had another risky moment and inside the speeches continued almost to a point of lethargy. The former president did not see the images, but he knew perfectly well that at that time the UCR was increasingly questioning the two issues that remained to be resolved to support the norm in particular: the delegation of powers and the list of privatizable public companies. “Who thinks of discussing the privatization of Airlines or the Public Media system when people only get information on their cell phones and no one watches that channel? It doesn’t happen in any country in the world,” he rants in his conversations. He harbors a particular annoyance at the dynamics of the functioning of his former allies, the radicals. “The country is on the verge of a hyper crisis and they are becoming exquisite with a President who has just entered.”
Javier Milei when he received Macri's support for the mega DNU of economic deregulation (file).
From the campaign until now, those who know him well are still surprised by how turned on he is with the political thread, a discipline that he never particularly liked. His vacation home hosts permanent meetings. He will stay in Cumelen until his birthday, February 8, but before that he hopes to attend a meeting in Chubut to consolidate the “operational outcry” for his decision to preside over the PRO. There will be no intern and he will be appointed. There is a lot of irony at the party's small table about this movement. His best-known representatives prefer not to even comment publicly on the play. In the heat of Buenos Aires, they believe that continuing to make news with these issues is all shooting themselves in the foot.
Almost all the experiences of Javier Milei's government generate a reflection of his experience. That continues to be the core of the conversations between them, despite the fact that around the libertarian, they deeply distrust the intensity with which Macri militates against the Government. He remembers the first year of his administration or the treatment of the Pension Law. Above all, he is fresh from the Supreme Court ruling that he received as soon as he took office, which benefited the provinces and left the Nation's accounts uncomfortable forever.
He told the President something of this at this time: that if he granted all the governors' demands, what would follow was submission. Milei had already understood it. On that plane, he operates at greater speed. The Minister of Economy, Luis “Toto” Caputo, knows this perfectly well, who received the untimely order from Karina Milei to withdraw the fiscal package of the Omnibus Law in the midst of the struggle between the provinces.
Ferraro, the ghost minister
There were several hours of confusion in the offices of Caputo and his inner circle that were not leaked. The alignment between Caputo and the President is total but an alarm went off there.
It was a combo that included the never-ever-effective departure of the Minister of Infrastructure, Guillermo Ferraro, and the transfer – without formally executing – of that area to Economy.
Guillermo Ferraro, during his presentation before Deputies (Photo: NA).
A particular swamp was created there: Ferraro is still formally the minister, his signature is still valid to execute decisions and a week after his informal departure from the Government, no one from the Economy communicated with the officials in charge of the Secretariats that he coordinated. In that package, there are Territorial Development, Habitat and Housing, Transportation, Communications and Connectivity.
The Presidency only made it official that Ferraro would present his resignation. None of that has happened yet. Where is Ferraro? “He is a minister,” his people respond. You have to pay attention to the end of that story.
Some wonder if this precedent will not be more expensive than is believed. This will be a Government with a lot of turnover of officials. Who is going to want to enter if the exits are like this? Some remember Kirchnerism.
Bonus track: according to surveys, polarization is escalating, but Milei's image remains strong
Consulting firms are in a period of intense measurement. How much does high inflation, the decline in economic activity, the liquefaction of salaries, affect the image of the President? How long does this equation of social sacrifice last until the outlook improves?
Read also: The reason for Peronism in our days
The results are diverse. Some say that the President is losing chunks of popularity in rapid steps. But the latest work from the consulting firm Aresco, which is being completed this week, says something else: Javier Milei's positive image supports his voting levels. The support is not for his measures, but for his ideas of change. When the questions point to the DNU and the Omnibus Law, the answers are split in half. The President's entourage looks at the number in the image when he makes decisions. Accelerate while it lasts.