Argentina’s political change stagnates thanks to recession

Global Business

Argentina's political change stagnates thanks to recession

A year ago, Mauricio Macri took office as president of Argentina. His victory, after 12 years of Kirchner governments, was viewed as part of the sea-change in Latin America as business-friendly conservative presidents took power in the region.

Macri promised to reboot a stagnant economy but with 2016 drawing to an end, the results are still yet to be seen.

CCTV America’s Joel Richards reports.

Argentina's political change stagnates thanks to recession

A year ago, Mauricio Macri took office as president of Argentina. His victory, after 12 years of Kirchner governments, was viewed as part of the sea-change in Latin America as business-friendly conservative presidents took power in the region.

The Buenos Aires province is home to nearly half of Argentina’s population. It was Mauricio Macri’s alliance Lets Change scored a key victory in the 2015 elections, candidate Maria Eugenia Vidal winning as governor after nearly three decades of Peronist party rule.

One of the young politicians involved in the campaign was Pablo Sivori, now councillor in the town of Hurlingham. He said Argentines voted for change when deciding for Lets Change.

Mauricio Macri’s victory raised expectations for Latin America’s third largest economy. Dropping taxes on the agricultural sector, paying off so-called holdout funds, and removing capital controls among the early measures.

But 2016 is not ending as the government hoped. There is controversy over a tax amnesty, inflation is expected at over 40 percent, economic activity has dropped, and tariff hikes are hurting middle- and lower-income families.

While the financial sector applauded the governments measures, bank workers announced strike action this week over their employers refusal to pay a end of year bonus of around $750. Unions said the government has fallen short on its promise.

Despite the governments message of optimism, and efforts to attract foreign investment to kick start the economy, some analysts said many investors are waiting whether to put money into Argentina.