Argentina's Lower House Speaker Sergio Massa Wednesday denied rumors that he would take over as Economy Minister but that President Alberto Fernández was delaying the announcement until the incumbent Silvina Batakis returned from her US mission.
I see many rumors and versions. I did not have any offer and I just agreed to talk with the President about the work agenda between Friday and Saturday, Massa wrote on Twitter. Nevertheless, all indexes went up and the unofficial dollar remained calm at prospects of Massa handling the country's economy.
Massa did admit he had been involved in many of the recent measures adopted over the past few days and that he had been side by side with economic authorities: Let it be clear that we have been working in line with the BCRA and the Ministry of Economy, Massa said.
Media reports in Buenos Aires depicted Massa's appointment as a done deal that only needed [Vice President Fernández de Kirchner] Cristina's green light.
The news outlets had first insisted the other issue to be determined was whether Massa would be Economy Minister or return to the position of Cabinet Chief, which he held under CFK.
There is going to be a Cabinet reshuffle, was the word in Casa Rosada, according to Buenos Aires media, who also pointed out that the exact role of Cabinet Chief Juan Manzur was under scrutiny. He is the current Governor of the Province of Tucumán on unpaid leave from that position.
Manzur reportedly has no interest in returning to Tucumán and he has also been instrumental in dealing with governors pressing to have a stronger say in the federal government's decisions concerning their provinces.
Silvina Batakis has been at the helm of the Economy Ministry for just three weeks, following Martín Guzmán's resignation earlier this month. The impact on financial circles that Massa's probable appointment had proved, in any case, that Batakis is still regarded as a transition minister.
In the meantime, Massa held several meetings at his Congress building office with current and past economic officials, which fueled the rumors that he was building up a team for the alleged new position.