Sitting down in an interview with numerous publications talking about his time in office, it can certainly be said that President Mauricio Macri tackled each question with confidence – and of course, the occasional football reference.
Macri kicked off the interview by defending the decision on electoral reform, assuring that – despite its failure – it had been a nation-wide call, stating: “Reform is non-negotiable. Because Argentinians have decided, mostly, on another way of coexistence. Telling the truth, respecting each other, engaging in conversation. And the electoral system that we have been carrying on for decades, represents the very opposite.”
Macri was then asked to give a ‘rating’ to his past year in office. The President started out dubious in his reply, asking: ‘You want to put this into mathematical terms? How can you quantify having avoided the fifth terminal crisis of the past fifty years? How can you put a value on lowering tensions in Argentina?’
However, his hesitation didn’t last long: ‘I would give myself a good mark. I would give myself an 8.’
In an attempt to elicit perhaps a more critical reflection on the past year, Macri was asked what he believes is a ‘just criticism’ and an ‘unjust criticism’ of his government; at which point sport made its way into the conversation.
‘I learned that in football: when the ball hit the post and went out, everything was terrible; When it hit the post and went in, we were a phenomenon. I learned that was how it was.’
On the future of the country, the President says that he feels a ‘great sense of responsibility’; that the state of the country was much more of a ‘disaster’ than he had expected and that a ‘real cultural change like this will take far more than [the next] eight years’ he sees himself in power for.
In the meantime, Macri admits the scale of the importance of next year’s elections, relegating the dependence of the outcome to the onus on the nation to realise the need for change: ‘Those who want to maintain power in a mafia way, have to know that this is not a governmental decision, it is the decision of the majority of Argentines, we want to progress, and we understand that progress comes from things that are above the table; from respect and truth, and not from hiding.’