Silvina Batakis Named Argentina’s New Economy Minister

The former economy minister of Buenos Aires province replaces Martín Guzmán, who resigned over the weekend amid conflicts within the ruling coalition

Source: Argentine government.
July 04, 2022 | 09:35 AM

Buenos Aires — Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández appointed Silvina Batakis as his new economy minister on Sunday night, following the departure of Martín Guzmán.

The nomination was confirmed to Bloomberg Línea by an official source and another source close to Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Official presidential spokesperson Gabriela Cerruti confirmed the designation via Twitter on Sunday evening.

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In her new role, Batakis will be tasked with facing down the acceleration of inflation, with annual projections of no less than 72.6%, as well as the depreciation of the peso in the parallel exchange markets, and the periodic renewal of the debt in pesos, an issue which is looking increasingly complex.

Who is Silvina Batakis?

Martín Guzmán’s replacement was economy minister of the province of Buenos Aires during Daniel Scioli’s administration, between 2011 and 2015.

Although during those years, the Buenos Aires government was able to complain to the national government of then president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner due to a lack of budget allocation, official sources consulted by Bloomberg Línea confirmed that the current vice-president supported the appointment of Batakis.

Batakis has supported exchange rate controls in certain circumstances.

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In declarations to radio La Red in August 2015, the then economy minister of Buenos Aires stated that “when one has scarce reserves, one has to manage them, set priorities. And this is done all over the world. There is no absolutely free market, not even in the United States”.

Batakis holds a degree in economics from the National University of La Plata and a master’s degree in provincial public finances from the same university, as well as a master’s degree in environmental economics from the University of York, England.

How will the US dollar open?

In statements to LN+, former finance minister Alfonso Prat Ga, said that the volume of exchange operations will be very low this Monday due to the July 4 holiday in the United States and that, outside the blue dollar, it will be necessary to wait until Tuesday in order to see the bulk of the exchange-rate impact following the changes in the government’s economic team.

In the crypto world, and in a preview of what could happen with the blue dollar this Monday, each USDT was selling at 276.95 pesos in Ripio on Sunday night, and for 294.65 pesos on the Lemon platform.

Sales of the blue dollar closed on Friday, July 1 at 239 pesos.