The reform to the pension system is the Macri administration’s most politically relevant battle at the time. Even though the Senate has already approved it, the initiative seems to have more than one challenge ahead in its way to become a law, as it is still uncertain whether the government will get enough deputies who are not members of Cambiemos to support it in the Lower House. Especially after the controversy caused by the words of Deputy Pablo Tonelli, who two days ago said “retirees are going to lose money but not purchasing power.”
Even though the statement’s most outspoken critics where political leaders from parties whose representatives have already anticipated their refusal to vote in favor of the reform, it didn’t make it easier for those who could, to justify their potential support either.
That’s why it’s not surprising that President Mauricio Macri defended the reform after partaking in an official event in the Province of Entre Ríos today.
“Retirees are not going to lose [purchasing power] with the new system, it will protect them from inflation,” he said, basically taking Tonelli’s words but presenting them in a more subtle manner. The reform’s main critics, in contrast, choose to highlight that the current system would increase pensions by 14.5 percent next march, whereas that number will decrease to 5.7 percent if this initiative is implemented.
Making reference to the current system, Macri appealed to his administration’s usual argument at the time of justifying measures that can prove unpopular and said “we have to take up the task of straightening up the mess created in the past 15 years and that stability means they won’t be affected by inflation.”
In another passage of his address, Macri emphasized on the need to reduce public spending saying “we can’t continue to indebt the country, that is confiscating our children and grandchildren’s future,” and that means “we need to have a state that provides a service to the people, not a place to get relatives’ jobs in the public sector.”
Even though Macri talked about the issue in abstract, he seemed to make reference to the controversy caused by the appointment of Mariana Triaca, sister of Labor Minister Jorge Triaca, to the board of the Banco Nación yesterday. Even though Mariana Triaca was previously working as a board advised, her case drew inevitable comparisons with Delfina Rossi’s, who in 2015 was appointed to the same post when her father, Agustín, was Defense Minister under then-President Cristina Kirchner. Back then, the news resulted in widespread accusations of nepotism, especially from the detractors of the Kirchner administration.
Jorge Triaca defended her sister’s appointment, arguing she “had been working in the Bank for two years and was chosen by the entity’s President.” “Beyond the fact that she is my sister, I have not influenced him [Banco Nación President Javier González Fraga] in any way to make the decision,” he added. However, chances are not all will be satisfied with that explanation. And judging by his words, Macri might be one of them.