After a euphoric night of celebration, President-elect Mauricio Macri held his first press conference this morning in La Boca at la Usina del Arte. He was accompanied by Marcos Peña, María Eugenia Vidal and Horacio Larreta. His Vice President, Gabriela Michetti, wasn’t able to attend due to health issues that have bothered her since last week.
Throughout the press conference, Macri emphasized that the level of confrontation between those aligned with the current administration and those who voted for Cambiemos’ proposed alternative should be lowered as the country transitions into a new political era.
The main concern addressed during the press conference was the economy:
“There will not be just a Minister of Economy. There will be a Treasury and Finance Minister [Ministro de Hacienda y Finanzas] and a team of six officials,” explained Macri.
During the ballotage campaign, Macri was careful not to let slip who would be in charge of the economy, saying only who his “spokespersons” were. Given that he is apparently planning a different structure, this is no longer surprising: there will no longer be an economy minister as the sole head of an Economy Ministry, but rather this aforementioned treasury and finance minister working in tandem with members of an “economy cabinet.”
Reaching “zero poverty” was also a subject that came up during the conference, as well as the lack of a “trustworthy measurement system” (referring to the lack of reliable data on things such as the level of poverty and the inflation rate), the foreign exchange rate (Macri mentioned that he would unify the value of the dollar) and the Central Bank (BCRA). Macri said that he would seek to get rid of the current BCRA head Alejando Vanoli and National Prosecutor General Alejandra Gils Carbó.
Macri also mentioned that he had received phone calls from international leaders to congratulate him on the election and clarified that his objective with them was to have the best relations possible and make good bilateral relations with Brazil a priority. He also said he would ask Venezuela to be expelled from Mercosur if it continues to violate human rights.
Macri was also asked about social issues, such as his commitment to fighting gender-based violence and whether he would support the continuity of the ongoing trials for crimes against humanity committed during the military dictatorship.
“The Judicial branch will have total independence to do what it has to do [regarding the trials],” he said.
Macri also stated that the press conference was the first of many.
“We will implement a policy of constant dialogue so that you may do your job and we can do ours,” said Marcos Peña.