Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) made no announcement regarding the upcoming presidential elections during her appearance Thursday at a La Plata theater for the ceremony marking the opening of the Néstor Kirchner Institute. Following last week's declaration by President Alberto Fernández that he would not seek reelection, all eyes are focused on her next move.
Even though she has said she would not be running after being convicted of corruption, it is no secret that she needs some sort of parliamentary or political immunity should her sentence be upheld on appeal. Still, she remained silent for the moment and did not even endorse any other possible contender.
She did say, though, that the agreement signed with the International Monetary Fund] IMF was inflationary and spoke about economic policies for the future. The past appears again here in the present, she pointed out. In her view, Argentina is going through a situation in which figures, ideas, and facts of the past seem to want to come again to settle in the present to condition us and condition the future.
After this week's surge in the blue (a euphemism for black market) dollar exchange rate, the former two-time President insisted that the history of convertibility is the history of dollarization and pointed out that it started as it ended: with the capture of all deposits.
We are all discussing what failed 20 years ago. The bomb exploded in the face of 40 million Argentines, in the squares, in unemployment, and in the seizure. We were told that one peso was equal to one dollar, it was the dollarization of the economy. It means that first, all the fixed-term deposits in the banks had to be captured. And by virtue of that, with the Bonex plan, it was possible to announce the convertibility that was sustained with the dollars from privatizations and the indebtedness that the Nation took so that the monetary base would be supported, she argued.
The Vice-President questioned most of the opposition's candidates without saying who would be the standard-bearer for the ruling Frente de Todos (FdT) coalition. She was particularly critical of Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and of Deputy Ricardo López Murphy (JxC), whom she did not mention by name but recalled that he lasted 10 days as economy minister under then-President Fernando de la Rúa.
CFK thus opposed dollarization, which many such as Deputy Javier Milei are promising to implement to avoid further exchange rate market frenzies. Inflation does not stop with dollarization, CFK stressed and used Ecuador's case as an example.
We are an industrial country, with nuclear energy. If we look at what is happening in Ecuador, inflation does not stop with dollarization. As it does not issue currency, there is no possibility of having a monetary policy, as we had with the Covid to meet the costs of health and vaccines, she said while wondering how it was possible that we are discussing what failed 20 years before.
I am not saying that we are right, but do not want to convince me that we have to go backwards to solve this present and the future, she added.
CFK recalled that in her two presidential terms (2008-2015) she had numerous exchange rate runs but stressed that they did not have an impact because the Central Bank intervened in the exchange rate, which until this week could not be so because the agreement with the IMF forbade it.