Argentine President Macri fights for political survival in election

Global Business

Industrial neighborhoods on the outskirts of Buenos Aires have been hit hard by Argentina’s recession.

CGTN’s Joel Richards reports.

In April, CGTN spoke to the owner of this printing company that has been in business since 1986. Work was slow but he said they were holding on.

Six months on, the company is at a standstill. The rising cost of public services, currency instability, and inflation all add up to create a storm that owner Juan Oreja said few companies like his can weather.

“The situation for us is chaotic. It is a situation that we can’t cope with any more. We owe taxes, and today, for example, we have to pay the electricity bill. They may cut us off. It is a very bad situation,” said Juan Oreja, owner of a printing company. 

Faced with a currency crisis, pro-business President Mauricio Macri announced in September 2018 that Argentina would turn again to the IMF, taking on the largest loan in the International Monetary Fund’s history – $57 billion.

The IMF lent its full support to Argentina’s economic policies, but a year on, the crisis in Argentina continues.

The IMF’s latest report projects Argentina’s economy will contract more than 3% this year, and inflation will continue to be the highest since the early 1990s, at over 54%.

Economist Daniel Marx said Argentina has yet to address structural problems in its economy – and improve its image.

“You have to become credible, and being credible not only what you put together from your ideas and the economic program but with that being able to sustain certain rules that people know won’t change,” he added.

Argentines have been hit hard by this crisis. According to government statistics, 35% live below the poverty level.

In August’s presidential primaries, Macri was dealt a heavy defeat by Peronist opponent Alberto Fernandez, whose running mate is former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Few expect a reversal of that result at the polls on Sunday.

And while investors are wary of a change of government, many Argentines are saying change is exactly what they need.