Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Perfil

ARGENTINA | 18-02-2020 10:06

Mauricio Macri quietly returns to political activity

Former president opens new office on Avenida del Libertador, three blocks from the Olivos presidential residence; meets with Rodríguez Larreta, Patricia Bullrich and Pichetto.

Former president Mauricio Macri is active again. And his brand new office on Avenida del Libertador, three blocks from the Olivos presidential residence, has re-opened.

Last week, the former head of state quietly returning to political activity, after a long break of rest and relaxation in Argentina's south. He had lunch, alone, with Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta on Thursday. He also received his former security minister and the brand new president of the PRO party, Patricia Bullrich, at his offices. He has exchanged calls and messages with his vice-presidential running-mate Miguel Ángel Pichetto. Next week, he plans to meet – also alone – with ex-Buenos Aires Province governor María Eugenia Vidal.

In his political meetings and conversations, he has returned to similar themes: the consolidation of his Juntos por el Cambio coalition as a "responsible opposition" force; and the creation of a workplace environment that prevents further departures from the ranks.

Macri , 60, does not want to open up new battlefronts with the national government, he has asked that new complaints or criticism not be aired, given that Alberto Fernández took office only two months ago. He will only intercede on specific themes, through his collaborators. In fact, he will do his best to keep a careful low profile (although images emerged of him playing padel at a court near the City's Lawn Tennis Club) and focus only on his international agenda linked to his new position with the FIFA Foundation.

When Macri met with Rodríguez Larreta alone last Thursday, the objectives were clear: review the current political situation, discuss the relationship with the City and national government, draw up a strategy to ensure Juntos por el Cambio remains unified. Talks also touched on discussions over the distribution of federal co-participation funds for the City, after changes in policing. The two leaders hadn't seen each other since last year, a source who was aware of the meeting told Perfil.

The former president has also had a fluid, regular exchange with Pichetto, one of his preferred go-betweens at this stage. Moreover, he has encouraged his former running-mate to participate in coalition talks on attempts to restructure Argentina's debt. The veteran politician will continue to be one of Macri's authorised voices, who can speak in the name of Cambiemos.

In parallel to this quiet return to activity, Macri's new offices on Avenida del Libertador – already with his family photos and books in place – have three new fixed occupants. One, his former secretary-general to the Presidency, Fernando de Andreis; another, his private secretary Darío Nieto; third, 'Anita,' his long-serving secretary, Ana Moschini, who has been with him for more than 20 years – and still calls him "engineer."

Ezequiel Spillman

Ezequiel Spillman

Periodista de Política de Diario Perfil. Mail: espillman@perfil.com

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