Martín Guzmán quits Argentina’s Economy Ministry

Argentinian Alberto Fernández and Economy Minister Martín Guzmán. Photo: Esteban Osorio/Pacific Press/Alamy
Argentinian President Alberto Fernández hugs Martín Guzmán as he takes office as Economy Minister. Photo: Mario De Fina /Fotoarena/Folhapress

After a dramatic economic week in which Argentina had to close off its imports to meet reserve targets to fulfill its commitments to the International Monetary Fund and in the middle of a bloody internal fight with Vice President Cristina Kirchner, Economy Minister Martín Guzmán announced his resignation on Twitter today.

Mr. Guzmán published a long text highlighting what he sees as the achievements of his three-year tenure, from the deal to restructure Argentina’s debt with private bondholders and the IMF — to navigating the Covid and Ukraine crises. He thanked President Alberto Fernández for his support.

While the letter did not contain any obvious digs at the vice president, its timing said it all: it came right as Ms. Kirchner addressed a crowd of supporters in a speech laden with jabs at President Fernández and his allies.

Mr. Guzmán’s resignation comes only weeks after former Production Minister Matías Kulfas, another close ally of Mr. Fernández, left the government. These moves raise significant question marks about the future of the Argentinian economy in the lead-up to the 2023 presidential elections.

Mr. Fernández could opt to hand power to an ally of Ms. Kirchner, who would likely spook markets further, or try to look for a stabilization plan with an economist closer to House Speaker Sergio Massa, a pragmatist Peronist who is also crucial in the ruling coalition.

Whoever takes office will have to deal with an inflation rate expected to reach at least 70 percent this year, a run against the peso and against the country’s Central Bank dollar reserves, an energy crisis, and a debt crisis that continues despite Mr. Guzmán’s restructurings.