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Macri accuses the Argentine government of a fear-mongering campaign

Tuesday, November 3rd 2015 - 05:38 UTC
Full article 35 comments
“Imagine yourself without a home. Imagine yourself hungry ... Imagine yourself if Macri wins,” says one ad, flashing images from the 2002 economic crisis “Imagine yourself without a home. Imagine yourself hungry ... Imagine yourself if Macri wins,” says one ad, flashing images from the 2002 economic crisis
Macri, an advocate of free markets, defied opinion polls by easily getting enough votes in the Oct. 25 election to force Daniel Scioli into a Nov. 22 run-off. Macri, an advocate of free markets, defied opinion polls by easily getting enough votes in the Oct. 25 election to force Daniel Scioli into a Nov. 22 run-off.
“Are you going to have to go back to paying? Think about it,” commentator Javier Vicente asked in reference to the 'Soccer for Everybody” “Are you going to have to go back to paying? Think about it,” commentator Javier Vicente asked in reference to the 'Soccer for Everybody”
Scioli claimed Macri plans “a major currency devaluation, which would mean a loss of wages in real terms.” Scioli claimed Macri plans “a major currency devaluation, which would mean a loss of wages in real terms.”

Argentine opposition candidate Mauricio Macri accused the ruling party of fear mongering after a weekend barrage of online attack ads warned he would throw people off welfare and reduce living standards by devaluing the currency. The same kind of spots were reiterated during the final match of the Argentine football league.

 “Imagine yourself without a home. Imagine yourself hungry ... Imagine yourself if Macri wins,” says one ad, flashing images from the 2002 economic crisis that threw millions of Argentines into poverty. It was tweeted by ruling party loyalist Luis D'Elia.

Macri, the mayor of Buenos Aires and an advocate of free markets, defied opinion polls by easily getting enough votes in the Oct. 25 election to push ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli into a Nov. 22 run-off.

“The official party is showing a dark strategy of trying to sow angst and fear with the sole goal of frightening people over the possibility of change,” Macri said on Facebook. “But it's not going to work,” said Macri, who promises to jumpstart investment and fight inflation while keeping needed social programs in place.

Scioli is from the same party as outgoing president Cristina Fernandez. He said his campaign seeks not to sow fear but to remind voters of the risk of returning to the free-market policies of the 1990s, which preceded the 2002 crisis.

On state-owned TV, a sports commentator on Saturday suggested Macri could return the rights to air soccer games to pay-per-view channels, a franchise ended under Cristina Fernandez when she instituted her “Soccer for Everyone” program.

“Are you going to have to go back to paying? Think about it,” commentator Javier Vicente asked. Football is the national sport of Argentina attracting huge crowds to the stadiums.

Last Friday Scioli said Macri plans “a major currency devaluation, which would mean a loss of wages in real terms.” Macri says Argentina's peso is overvalued, but he has not laid out a time-table for devaluation.

Neither candidate backs the kind of sharp fiscal adjustment that Wall Street says is needed after years of free-spending populism under Cristina Fernandez, who reluctantly endorsed the more market-friendly Scioli earlier this year.

Although from the same Front for Victory party, Fernandez's inner circle accepted with resignation her nomination of Scioli. Argentine media has been full of accounts of rising tensions between the Fernandez and Scioli camps since his poor performance in the Oct. 25 first round election.

In effect opinion polls anticipated that even when Scioli could or could not make the 40% of ballots in the first round, he was almost ten points ahead of Macri. The difference shrinked to two and a half percentage points, plus the loss of Buenos Aires province governorship, the country's main electoral district.

Furthermore some analysts believe that such an aggressive campaign could end up backfiring against the Scioli camp, since it's another display of Cristina Fernandez arrogant style of government.

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

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  • ElaineB

    'Hope' and 'fear', the two strongest emotions when selling politics. The government has decided to hang their campaign on 'fear'.

    I posted at the weekend about the fear mongering going on by the government across social media. It is very organised. One friend talked about how the same phrases come up repeatedly without any substance to back up the claims. It is astonishing how susceptible people are to repetition.

    Another area they are targeting is the feminist vote. There are all kinds of stories about Macri being anti-women, anti-human rights, anti-gay. It is all so desperate.

    Nov 03rd, 2015 - 09:12 am 0
  • golfcronie

    Are we surprised? No, not really, anything to cling on to power, Eh Klingon. I wish the Argies would go to sleep and then wake up in the 21st century, too much to hope for I hope not. I lived in Argentina for 2 years and found the locals very pleasant but I was not in BA where there is more arrogance.

    Nov 03rd, 2015 - 09:18 am 0
  • ChrisR

    How can you spot it's an argie driving his car?

    The bastard will be driving it at you if you are on a zebra crossing, and I kid you not.

    It's the mentality of 'I'm the greatest, fuck off out of my way'.

    Nov 03rd, 2015 - 10:44 am 0
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