Argentina’s economy minister, Martin Guzmán, has resigned as the country’s economic crisis intensifies.
Guzmán had been in office since late 2019 and led negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the restructuring of Argentina’s debt.
He called for “a political agreement within the governing coalition” to choose his successor.
Argentina is struggling with 60 per cent inflation and a weak currency, as well as global food and energy price rises.
Guzmán stepped down after a week of economic turmoil, with the Argentine peso sliding against the dollar.
His departure leaves a big question mark over Argentina’s future economic policy.
In a letter to President Alberto Fernández, Guzmán hinted at internal divisions within the government.
But it is no secret that President Fernández is at odds with his deputy, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, over how to tackle the country’s economic problems.
In fact, Guzmán announced his resignation while Fernández was giving the latest in a series of high-profile speeches lambasting her own government’s economic policies.
Fernández, who was herself president from 2007 to 2015, is critical of what she sees as the government’s failure to ease the financial burden on ordinary Argentines.
She and her supporters saw Guzmán as excessive in his efforts to reduce the budget deficit and tighten monetary policy.
If Fernández gets her way, the next finance minister will go easy on the fiscal rigour and increase the level of state intervention in the economy.
But that might prove a bitter pill for the IMF to swallow, with some financial analysts already criticising the Fund for not setting tough enough conditions in its latest $44bn debt deal with Argentina. (BBC)