Mauricio Macri: “Without cash, populism doesn’t work”

Former Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, during a 2019 visit to Brazil. Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR

Former Argentinian President Mauricio Macri (2015-2019) attended a meeting in São Paulo this Friday alongside economists, lawmakers, and experts in the Brazilian and Latin American conservative-liberal community. The Brazilian Report attended the event. 

After giving an overview of his four-year term, which ended with increasing poverty figures and a 53.8-percent yearly inflation rate in 2019, Mr. Macri hinted that he intends to “retake” the presidency, to fight what he calls the “populism” of the Peronist ruling party

“It is very difficult to fight populism. And in Argentina, Peronism is the ideal populism. However, a cashless populism, as we see today, doesn’t work. Even so, they want the population to have their lives connected to the state,” Mr. Macri said, during the event. 

In 2019, Mauricio Macri became the first non-Peronist leader to end his term peacefully in 70 years. However, he was also the first Argentinian president to ever lose re-election. The center-right politician is also highly criticized among liberal groups for having failed on his liberal agenda, with zero companies privatized under his administration. In the meantime, he allowed price freezes and higher taxes. 

“The State suffocates you, we need to change that in Argentina and avoid missing opportunities” he said. 

New chance for Macri

With Peronist Alberto Fernández sitting in the presidential chair, Argentina saw an even-worse economic decline due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Besides being forced to renegotiate its debts with the IMF and foreign creditors, Latin America’s third-largest economy had an inflation rate of 58 percent by May 2022 — the highest in three decades. Many experts believe this could pose a new opportunity for Mauricio Macri to return to power.