Saturday, October 19, 2019
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ECONOMY | 24-07-2019 04:37

Candidates clash online as CFK's economic track record becomes hot topic

Alberto Fernandez takes on Nicolás Dujovne in Twitter spat, as former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's record becomes the battleground for debate.

The Mauricio Macri campaign is upping the ante online after taking on claims made by lead opposition candidate for president, Alberto Fernández, of economic mismanagement.

Fernández this week found himself defending his corner online this week, as his political history with former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and more specifically, her economic track record, become the topic of debate.

Several government officials took to the airwaves to question Fernández and his VP candidate. At the forefront was Economy Minister Nicolás Dujovne who rejected the presidential hopeful's claim, made in an interview with TN, that the Fernández de Kirchner government left power in 2015 with a fiscal deficit of 1.8 percent. Fernández, drawing a comparison, claimed that under Macri it had reached six percent.

"Alberto, let's be honest with ourselves: fiscal results are measured by the Treasury, not the INDEC [national statistics bureau]. 1.8 percent? But that includes ANSES income and the money they [the Fernández de Kirchner government] took from the Central Bank at a rate of 0%," Dujovne responded on his Twitter account.

"The fiscal deficit in 2015 was 3.8 percent of GDP but we must also add the receipts which weren't included and were left unpaid. And the provinces? The Kirchnerites denied [the provinces] their legitimate resources, which took primary deficit in 2015 to one percent of GDP," the minister added.

He also took at aim at Fernández's claim on the Todo Noticias news channel on Wednesday about the Macri government's fiscal performance.

"You speak about a deficit of six percent of GDP today. I don't know who gave you those numbers, Alberto. Nationally it will be 0 percent, plus interest of 3.2 percent. The provinces are fine", he insisted. "Shall I remind you that the deficit in 2015 Nation plus Provinces was eight percent of GDP."

Fernández told the Desde el llano programme that inflation in 2015 was 25 percent compared to Macri's 55 percent.

On that issue, Dujovne replied: "What to say about inflation. There was a currency freeze and subsidies, which left us with net negative reserves and an energy crisis.

"Today, the exchange rate is competitive and we normalized rates which is what you were asking for in 2015", he said, referring to the final years in government of Fernández de Kirchner when Fernández had taken a highly public and critical position against his current running mate.

Dujovne was not the only government minister on the attack.

Security Minister Patricia Bullrich on Tuesday described Fernández as "an aggressive person", following a leaked security camera video showing Fernández shoving a man who had approached and verbally abused him at a Puerto Madero restaurant.

"He is just as Kirchnerite as he was when he left office", Bullrich claimed.

She said the Kircherite movement showed "aggressive characteristics" and was "quite Soviet" in that it "does not feel comfortable with the division of powers".

Last week, former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said it was the Macri government, in fact, that was "Sovietic" since its economist policies have allegedly worked against capitalism.

-TIMES/PERFIL

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