Domestic Trade Secretary Guillermo Moreno was once again the subject of controversy last night when he insulted an economist on live television and tried to have him expelled from the set.
How did the situation degenerate? On TV show Zona I, economist Martín Tetaz questioned Moreno on the way he handled inflation during the Kirchner administration, while he was domestic trade secretary. Not satisfied with the answers supplied by Moreno, who insisted he said he’d acted “marvelously,” the economist called him a liar, enraging the former Kirchnerite official.
“You think you can tell a guest he’s lying just because? You’re actually an idiot. I’m not speaking to this idiot,” said Moreno, who went on to get up from his chair to insult him to his face: “Who are you to call a grown man liar?” he continued.
Domestic trade secretary under the Cristina Kirchner’s administration until 2013, Moreno was a close ally to the President for several years and one of the most divisive figures in the administration due to his authoritarian and sometimes borderline violent behavior. This is far, far from being his first public scandal Moreno has generated: many still remember him standing before then Economy Minister Martín Lousteau and making a throat-slitting gesture in 2008, or reports from several business people who claimed that Moreno would prominently place a revolver on his desk during meetings.
He became the face of the much-questioned INDEC statistics bureau and his name is synonymous with misreporting inflation numbers. The IMF fined the Government for farcical statistics, and publications like The Economist stopped using its numbers entirely. At the moment of taking office, the Macri administration completely renewed INDEC in an attempt to restore some credibility to the institution. Moreno is currently facing trials for abuse of authority. He also recently inaugurated a pancho (hot dog) franchise along with retired General César Milani.