Back in 2016, most senior members of the Macri administration justified the economic trouble the country was going through as the necessary measures to fix the mess that the Kirchner administration had left in place and that the positive results would become apparent in the second semester.
Three years into the Macri administration, and amid a six month run on the peso that led to a deep recession and high inflation, Treasury and Finance Minister Nicolás Dujovne said in an interview with La Nación that “the government’s economic program needs at least four more years to consolidate.”
So we’ve now gone from a second semester to a second term.
“There is a program that began to be implemented in December 2015 and needs at least four more years to consolidate, so the results will be visible by the time economic policy is discussed ahead of the 2023 elections,” he said.
The minister also denied that the country is immersed in a crisis, saying “we are actually going through a recession.”
“It is semantic. We entered this period with a set of rules, and we are getting out of it with the same set of rules,” he indicated.
Dujovne went on to explain that the country is still going through a recession, but assured the government has “an extremely solid plan” to return to growth, indicating the recession will end “first with the increase of exports, which are already bouncing back, and with the stabilization of inflation, which will lead to the recovery of the salaries’ purchasing power.”
“Further along in the future, when interest rates go down, investment will come back,” Dujovne added.
In line with the change of rhetoric implemented by the government throughout the crisis, Dujovne indicated that its causes were largely caused by factors that were external to the government – the drought and the so-called “notebooks scandal” for example.
He then went on to describe the scenario the country would be in if the administration had not taken the necessary measures to palliate the crisis, something he had already done back on September 21st when he appeared before Congress to defend the government’s 2019 budget bill and said the country would have ended up “like Venezuela.”
“Without the support of the international community, the reduction of the fiscal deficit, the country risk would be much higher, the depreciation and the reduction of the purchasing power of salaries would be higher. We are convinced we made the right decisions to stabilize the situation,” the minister added.