Argentinean President Seeks Transparent Government

December 31, 2015Argentinaby EW News Desk Team

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The government issued a "national statistical emergency" as President Mauricio Macri seeks to reform how Argentina gathers statistics in pursuit of an accurate depiction of the economy, according to AFP.

Critics maintain that former President Cristina Kirchner's cabinet failed to put forth honest numbers, forcing the National Statistics and Census Institute to withhold data pertaining to such matters as poverty and GDP. Argentina received a censure in 2013, by the International Monetary Fund for discrepancies in GDP numbers when compared to third-party data.

Argentina's statistics reformation serves as the latest example of the new government's intention to foster transparency while aiming to attract new investors in the process. Macri's government will be friendlier to business, unlike the previous left-wing government, which causes investors to breathe a sigh of relief.

Macri openly expressed his desire to chip away nearly every aspect of Kirchner's governance, and he seems prepared to follow through on his word by cutting export taxes and dumping the nation's official exchange rate. Many people express unhappiness with the new change, as many relied on low exchange rates to buy and sell dollars, and Kirchner supporters, have taken to the streets to protest the new president's reforms.

Leftist Opposition

Critics accuse the center-right government of cozy ties to U.S. banks and financial firms.  Even though various cabinet members have connections to Wall Street, new leadership aims to repair relations with American investors to improve the economy. President Obama intends to travel to Argentina to open a dialogue with the new president, and there is a high chance of the United States gaining an additional ally in South America.

At home, Macri has to contend with over a decade of entrenched left-wing politics, and critics have already accused him of selling Argentina out to foreign firms while hurting the poor with pro-business policies and cuts to social services. Kirchner and her late husband fostered a widespread following, known as Kirchnerism, which describes an ideology based on aiding the poor and protecting local industry.

Investors Gain Interest

Macri also promised U.S. investors that he would settle a $100-billion default in 2002, a first step in repairing contentious relations with the business community over debt obligations. The government noted the issuance of dividend payments, and the president announced that firms would commit $500 million in investments for December.

Officials also aim to encourage development of the nation's vast oil and gas reserves, but companies have thus far refused—partly due to the previous administration's hostile policies. Argentina holds 2.4 billion barrels of crude, as of 2015.

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