Macri’s austerity policies prove costly in the primaries

13 Aug 19

Argentina’s currency plummeted yesterday after the current president lost an election primary against a centre-left opponent.

Mauricio Macri came to power in 2015, promising zero inflation and using austerity policies to try to stop the country’s currency crisis.

But as the peso weakened, inflation soared to about 50%, and earlier this year tens of thousands of Argentines protested in the streets of Buenos Aires against cuts to government spending.

Macri’s opponent, Alberto Fernández, is considered to be a less market-friendly candidate, and his win in the primary (47.4% against Macri’s 32.3%) spooked the markets.

The peso fell by about 30% on the value of the dollar, reaching a record low on Monday, recovering to close the day 15% down.

Argentina received the world’s biggest ever IMF bailout deal in 2018, worth $56.3bn.

It came with the condition that Argentina must commit to reach a ‘zero’ deficit by 2019, but Fernández has previously said he could renegotiate the arrangement.

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