The Macri administration continues seeing changes in its upper ranks. On top of the departures of Isela Costantini from Aerolíneas Argentinas, Alfonso Prat Gay from the Economy Ministry and Néstor Pérez Baliño from his post as Health Secretary, news surfaced today that Carlos Melconián resigned as head of the Banco Nación at the Government’s request, while Daniel Chaín will leave his post as Public Works Secretary.
Melconián will be replaced by Economist Javier González Fraga. “[Fraga] is an economist with a long and recognized trajectory. He was the Central Bank (BCRA) President in 1989 and 1990, where he contributed to put an end to the hyperinflation peak, wrote several books and founded a dairy products company. […] The Government thanks Carlos Melconian for his passion and dedication as head of Banco Nación, and for having led it with success and professionalism,” the release issued by the Government reads.
In contrast with Melconián’s case, Chaín said he is leaving voluntarily for personal reasons — related to his family — and because he had always made it clear he didn’t want to hold public office for a long time.
According to press reports, President Mauricio Macri and Melconian met for an hour this morning, “a meeting in which the chief of state congratulated him for his administration and offered him another position, although it seems the economist rejected it.”
La Nación reports that Melconian actually had a good relationship with the president. His ousting came as a result the poor relationship he had with the Cabinet’s office. “He didn’t get along with [Cabinet Chief] Marcos Peña and both deputy Cabinet Chiefs [Mario Quintana and Gustavo Lopetegui], who never considered him part of the economic team,” sources told the outlet.
As for the future of the Public Works Department, other reports indicate that the Government is considering two alternatives: not appointing anyone and crowd source the now former Secretary’s responsibilities; or dissolving the entire area, thus having another area within the Interior Ministry take over public works responsibilities.