Argentine President Alberto Fernández chose Silvina Batakis as the new Economy Minister following the resignation of Martín Guzmán during the weekend, a move which has prompted a rise in the informal exchange rate between the local peso and the US dollar, thus fueling already seemingly unstoppable inflation.
After a meeting at the Olivos Presidential residency with Lower House Speaker, Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero, and other officials, Fernández chose, who has already served as Economy of the province of Buenos Aires between 2011 and 2015 under then-Governor Daniel Scioli, who has also joined the national cabinet as Development Minister in June.
Batakis' appointment ended hours of speculation that a Super Ministry was to be created instead, an office that would include the Economy Ministry and other offices and for which current National Institute of Statistics and Census (Indec) Chief Marco Lavagna was to be appointed in a psychological move to benefit from the last name of someone whose father Roberto was Economy Minister under former Presidents Eduardo Duhalde and Néstor Kirchner and helped the country bounce back from recession.
A phone call between Alberto Fernández and Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner brokered by Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo leader Estela de Carlotto led to the appointment of Batakis, who was currently serving as Secretary of Provinces of the Ministry of the Interior since December 2019.
Batakis' resumé includes various positions within the Buenos Aires provincial administration since 1992.
Rumors that the Lower House Speaker would again become Cabinet Chief instead of Juan Manzur were also floating around Casa Rosada during the weekend.
I highlight President Alberto Fernández's decision to call Dr. Silvina Batakis as Minister of Economy of the Nation, Scioli posted on his Twitter account, after the official confirmation. A person of great human quality and extensive professional training. A tireless worker with a great sense of responsibility and outstanding experience, he added.
There will be no banking holiday Monday, something many traders had speculated might happen.