A protagonist of the breakfast cycle Libertad y Progreso and the Naumann Foundation holds at the Feirs Park Hotel, analyst and writer Vicente Massot stated that the government’s victory in the Midterm Election has 3 significant consequences: the consolidation of Cambiemos as a winning coalition, the very real possibility of Mauricio Macri’s reelection and a big crisis within the Peronist party.
“That Sunday’s (Massot refers to October 22) results were predictable doesn’t make them any less important. Anyone could guess Cambiemos was going to win but few could see this giant yellow wave (yellow is their party color)” Massot highlighted.
Regarding the first consequence: Cambiemos became the first minority in the lower chamber and may very well end up acting as a first minority in the Senate if the division among Peronist strong enough to make it lose the control over it had until now” the pundit declared.
In regards to the second consequence, Massot thinks the ruling party has proved it is a political project that can last through 2019 and further on. “It is not an exaggeration to claim Macri’s reelection now rests only upon himself, on not making too many mistakes. This is a great advantage when governing. Even if the Peronist Party manages to solve its internal problems, the problem of Mauricio Macri’s reelection is immense. This favors the official decision to make reforms“.
Finally, regarding the crisis within Peronism, Massot emphasized that it is serious but nothing that has not happened before. “Peronism has always survived, sticking to Marxist and neo-fascist facets. The movement has a large capacity for reinventing himself and a notorious decisive power but, currently, faces serious trouble. It lost the election and has no competitive level at a national level. Instead, it has many small minded strongmen that believe they should lead the rest, and when Peronism doesn’t have a leader it tends to lose” Massot explained. “The problem they face today is not that they have 2 or 3 potential leaders, they have 20 and they all have valid claims to leadership“.
The Reforms That Are Coming
According to Massot, the main question for the future is if Macri will be able to carry out the structural reforms that he has been talking about. “We should be skeptical about political speech. It’s easy to announce reforms but actually making them can prove more difficult. You can’t undo 70 years of decay in just 4 years, even an engineer with Macri’s iron will know there are political limitations” he said. “The government talks about fiscal, pension, tax and labor reform to which I would add a judicial reform”.
“I would be more cautious about reforming the State and public spending, it is impossible to carry out such a significant structural reform in 2 years. But we can start this journey little by little. In relation to labor reform, I think it will be negotiated industry by industry – like Vaca Muerta. We have already incorporate the concept of productivity into our debate, which is an advancement in itself. But we cannot expect to continue with our current production level and expect to become Switzerland overnight” he continued.
Massot also said that in order to carry out a pension reform people would have to accept that both women and men will retire later.
Finally, Massot spoke about tax reform, claiming that Argentina’s problem is not only high taxes but high public spending. He ended up the talk by declaring that “You cannot lower taxes without lowering public spending. We face a problem of cordage, which cannot be solved quickly.”