Argentina’s economy tsar Guzman resigns - ednews.net

14 August,

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Argentina’s economy tsar Guzman resigns

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Argentinian Economy Minister Martin Guzman, who led debt renegotiations with the International Monetary Fund, announced his resignation, sparking fresh uncertainty in Latin America's third largest economy, Ednews reports citing AFP.

Guzman did not say why he resigned in his statement addressing President Alberto Fernandez, but called on the center-left leader to mend internal divisions so that "the next minister does not suffer" the same difficulties he did.

"It will be essential that you work on an agreement within the ruling coalition," he added in the statement shared on Twitter.

His resignation comes two weeks after Vice President Cristina Kirchner, a former president who has been a constant critic of the government, gave a speech attacking Fernandez's economic management.

Political analyst Carlos Fara told AFP news agency that Guzman's resignation was "a check mate for the president's autonomy" and had given Kirchner the upper hand in their power struggle.

"The resignation will have a very bad effect in the markets. Even if the president and vice president reach a consensus on managing the economy, from now on everything will be conditioned by Cristina Kirchner's pressure."

As economy minister, the 39-year-old Guzman was tasked with renegotiating a $44 billion debt with the IMF that Argentina insisted it could not afford to repay.

The original debt of $57 billion — the last tranche of which Fernandez declined after succeeding his liberal predecessor Mauricio Macri, who had solicited the loan — was the largest ever issued by the IMF.

Despite resistance from Kirchner, Guzman managed to agree a deal and save Argentina from defaulting.

But Guzman was often faced with hostility from the Peronist Justicialist Party, the major force in the Frente de Todos (Everyone's Front) ruling coalition that counts both Fernandez and Kirchner as high-profile members.

Kirchner's faction has gone after Guzman ever since Everyone's Front lost control of the senate during last year's midterm legislative elections.

The IMF deal was only ratified by parliament thanks to support from the center-right opposition, as a group of legislators in the ruling coalition led by the vice president's son Maximo Kirchner boycotted the vote.

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