In the aftermath of the massive march he organized yesterday, union leader Hugo Moyano said this morning that he is willing to meet with President Mauricio Macri, should he call him. “If the government thinks it has to talk to me, I can’t refuse. It’s the same thing that happens with business leaders: I will dispute some things, but when we have to sit down to solve problems, we do it,” he said in an interview with Radio La Red.
The union leader went on to highlight the fact that violence did not erupt in yesterday’s event, saying it is proof they are not seeking to destabilize the government.
Moyano did ask for silence when yesterday the crowd broke out into chants criticizing Macri (and explicitly using his name), saying “it wasn’t necessary.” “We haven’t come to threaten you, we’re not here to destabilize, we’re working men and women who have come to tell the government not to implement policies that bring hunger to our workers and our children, because they’re mortgaging the country,” he added, rebuking the possibility of his intention being to weaken the current administration.
Nonetheless, Moyano conceded that his relationship with the president is nonexistent, explaining that the last time they talked was three months ago. But he blamed this on the “attitude and lack of answers from his ministers,” rather than Macri himself. “They don’t provide answers to anything, it is all lies,” he added. He then further differentiated the president from his cabinet members, arguing that many of them “are anti-Peronists and show it through their work.” “They think they know it all, and they’re doing things that affect economic output,” he added.
In contrast with the intentions of the union leaders who are most critical of the government, Moyano didn’t call for a general strike. When consulted if he believed one was looming large, Moyano said it had not yet been considered. “I hope it doesn’t happen. If there are no answers [to our claims], and if the response is to react against [the workers’ interests], sooner or later people will get fed up and resort to the legitimacy of what is established by the Constitution,” he said.
However, despite avoiding directly confronting Macri, Moyano’s words seem to answer more to an intention to keep his political options open, rather than extend a veiled olive branch to the government, especially considering that a few days before the march he also showed willingness to meet with former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Additionally, high-profile Kirchnerite leaders attended the march yesterday but were not present on the stage. At this point, the future panorama is undecided.
Yesterday’s march was another play by Moyano on the chess board that is the Argentine political landscape. Now, he will surely wait for the other players to react before planning his next move.