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Thu Jul 28, 2022, 10:25 PM

Argentina names House Speaker Sergio Massa 3rd Economy Minister in a month amid crisis

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández named Lower House Speaker Sergio Massa as the head of a new, expanded ministry after the country plunged deeper into political crisis in July.

Massa, 50, will oversee a new Economy Ministry which will include the duties of the Agriculture and Production ministries.

Beyond the economic volatility of the last few weeks, Massa inherits enormous challenges.

Economists see inflation reaching 90% this year, the central bank’s net reserves are razor thin and the country is behind on targets it must meet to comply with a US$44 billion refinance program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - the result of a bailout granted to Fernández's right-wing predecessor Maurico Macri, reportedly at Trump's behest.

Almost 38% of Argentines live in poverty, and a recent slew of protests have called for more social welfare.

The turnover is a sign of the deep divisions within Argentina’s ruling, center-left coalition.

The growing political crisis has caused prices to jump an estimated 7.3% in July, and the currency to plunge by one third over the past month in unofficial markets.

At: https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/argentina-names-third-economy-minister-in-a-month-amid-crisis.phtml

Argentine House Speaker Sergio Massa confers with President Alberto Fernández at the Casa Rosada recently.

Fernández's appointment of Massa as a "super-minister" with purview over the key Economy portfolio, as well as Agriculture and Production, was greeted positively by markets.

Known for his pragmatic approach, Massa inherits an economy which grew 6.2% in the first five months of 2022 - but which has since been derailed by soaring energy import costs, as well as a run on the currency which, while contained over the past week, continues to threaten the country's solvency.

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