The back room of the Government. The truce with Cristina is fragile and Fernández is unable to reverse the crisis of confidence
Trapped in his labyrinth behind the crisis of confidence that unleashed the resignation of Martín Guzmán, Alberto Fernandez went in recent days to the Catalan consultant Antoni Gutierrez-Rubí. He asked her for advice on avoiding missteps with his messages and appearances. The President walks on muddy ground: the truce with Cristina Kirchner It’s fragile and the climate of instability makes any gesture by him or by the vice president quickly impact the dollar and prices.
Gutierrez-Ruby recommended to Fernandez keep your speeches to a minimum, to “decentralize” communication with a greater presence on social networks and to try to get out of the inmate’s agenda. Fernández moves within a very narrow margin: he does not want to show excessive alarm over the market crisis and inflation, at the risk of appearing disconnected from reality.
This is how they justify in the Casa Rosada their decision not to attend the Poncho Festival to which they had been invited this Friday – so as not to clash with the crisis – but also not to appear during the week with the Minister of Economy, Silvina Batakis, to “not raise the alarm level”.
The Casa Rosada, however, fails to regenerate political and economic confidence. When Batakis announced on Monday the fiscal path that he is about to follow, the dollar fell from $273 to $268, but by the end of the week it had climbed again to reach a new record of $293. “We didn’t give very concrete signals after the ‘Greek’ spoke to the markets on Monday. We didn’t hold it. We must retake the initiative of the administration, not spend the day with Evo Morales,” said an important official, alluding to the President’s agenda for Tuesday.
Fernandez was very calm when collaborators and friends visited him in the last hours to advise him and, at times, wake him up so that he takes up the initiative and dissipate the doubt that was installed in public opinion about whether he will reach the end of the mandate.
The situation has the non-Kirchnerist ministers very concerned, who are in communication with each other with the mission of help the President. Among them are the chancellor Santiago Cafiero; the owner of the AFI, Agustin Rossi -which function as a presidential containment tandem-; the Minister of Public Works, Gabriel Katopodis and the Minister of Social Development, John Zabaleta, in addition to Anibal Fernandez (Security). Also staying close to the head of state in recent days was deputy Leandro Santoro.
In the cabinet there is concern about the problems for communicate management and by the fragility of the non-aggression pact with Cristina. “We must give urgent signs of strength and certainty so that the situation does not take us away,” one of them was heard saying in recent days. Another noted: “We all have to work to put management ahead and so that the reconnection with Cristina is not broken”.
Officials with a political profile want to take care of the table like a treasure. Fernandez, Cristina Kirchner and Sergio Massa. In different official offices they recognize that the presidential binomial it is more of a non-aggression pact and a staging than an actual reconciliation. Nobody believes that both are agreeing on a programmatic plan. “The plan is Batakis”, said a close presidential aide.
“We had not spoken for three months. They met again 15 days ago, let’s wait a little longer,” said a minister who stressed that thanks to the reestablishment of communication at the leadership of the Front of All “Batakis has an orderly scheme to be able to work.”
The agreement to lay down arms between the President and his vice president must be ratified day by day. In one and another terminal they continue ruminating against the other side. A collaborator who spoke with the President in the last few hours said: “The only thing Alberto wants is for Cristina to stop hurting.”
Fernandez continues to condition his state of mind to the relationship with his vice, and he gets worried every time a meeting between the two is leaked, knowing the value that Cristina places on the privacy of their meetings. “You have to get out of that place. It is not only the Government that is at stake, it is the entire PJ. He has to prioritize responsibility, ”commented an official collaborator.
Fernández’s decision to get out of the internal political agenda and the dollar explained, meanwhile, that he did not speak to the microphone on Wednesday in General Rodríguez, during the inauguration of a space for early childhood and during his visit to the Honda plant on Thursday. There he talked for more than an hour with the employees and returned to Olivos around 3:00 p.m. for a late lunch.
By then, the Plaza de Mayo and the Congress were already populated by piqueteros groups, both opponents and like-minded, who began to show impatience with the Government.
Fernández – who on Wednesday had received a group of referents from the Evita Movement at the Casa Rosada – then telephoned one of its leaders to ask for an explanation, after the referents of that space exhibited themselves in front of the cameras with gestures of camaraderie with the Polo Obrero. “They are two separate mobilizations,” the interlocutor excused himself.
The piqueteros movements related to the Government, however, They give cross signals. In the next few days, they could unify their demands with the leftist groups.
In the twilight of the week, meanwhile, Fernández analyzed the reasons for the new rise in the parallel dollar. “There are speculators who are looking for a devaluation”, they warned THE NATION close to the head of state. Batakis and the head of the BCRA, Miguel Angel Pesce, sought to reassure the head of state and pointed out that the new escalation is linked to tourism demand for the winter holidays. They assured him that the situation will improve from mid-August, when energy imports decrease. But the technical explanation was not entirely satisfactory and at the Casa Rosada they end up acknowledging the political factor. “We all would like Cristina to give explicit support to the Batakis measures because that is what the markets are looking at. But it is difficult for her to do more than silence for now, ” lamented a close official collaborator.