BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s treasury minister chaired Tuesday’s first session of the Economic Cabinet named by President Mauricio Macri to coordinate policy as Buenos Aires negotiates a stand-by credit line with the International Monetary Fund.
Nicolas Dujovne, who met in Washington on May 10 with IMF chief Christine Lagarde to start the negotiations, presided over the gathering of the ministers of the Interior, Rogelio Frigerio; of Finance, Luis Caputo; of Labor, Jorge Triaca; of Energy and Mines, Juan Jose Aranguren; of Modernization, Andres Ibarra; of Agroindustry, Luis Etchevehere, and of Production, Francisco Cabrera.
Macri’s decision to put Dujovne in charge of the Economic Cabinet was made in the midst of a currency crisis, as Argentina’s peso has sharply depreciated against the US dollar in the last few weeks.
Earlier this month, Macri announced his decision to start negotiations with the IMF for a credit line to help address the situation created by the peso’s steep fall and to continue his planned economic reforms.
The president has called for the creation of a “great national accord” with political, business and labor leaders to address the budget deficit and to spur economic growth while the government negotiates with the IMF.
However, the prospect that the IMF – which is deeply unpopular in Argentina – will once again have a major say in economic policy has increased the sense of grievance among opponents of the Macri government who are already unhappy about massive increases in utility rates.