(Photo: President Macri after to recognize his defeat. United, the Peronism applied a beating to the Government coalition)
Buenos Aires, August 12th. The Government was shocked by an unpredicted defeat in the primaries, where the Peronist party obtain 47% versus a modest 32% of the governmental coalition Cambiemos, led by President Mauricio Macri.
But most surprising was the triumph of the former Economy minister Axel Kicillof in the Buenos Aires province, where it was supposed that Governor María Eugenia Vidal was going to obtain more votes than President Macri. Mr. Kicillof surpassed 50% of the votes, versus less than 30% for Vidal.
Analysts agree that it will very difficult, or impossible, that Government can reverse the results in the general election, in October 27th. Only a miracle could do it. The firs symptom that Macri’s Government is out was the inmediatelly rise of dollar, which jumped from AR$46 Friday 9th to AR$61 in Monday 12th.
An descontrolled inflation, an increasing unemployment and poverty, and finally an economy living a huge recession were the factors that push people to massively vote the opposition.
Only the rural economy brought good news to the Government this year, leaving a 147 MMT record harvest. Farmers’ unions expressed their support to President Macri despite the re-imposition of the export taxes and the high fiscal pressure. Last time was in occasion of the classic Palermo Show, carried out by the Argentine Rural Society (SRA), the most loyal union to the governmental coalition, that provided the current minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Luis Miguel Etchevehere. A poll circulated a few weeks ago showed that 80% of farmers supported Cambiemos.
Thus, they couldn’t get out from its surprise when results of the primaries were be released. But the most astonishing was that Fernandez’s formula was able to impose in even in rural areas, where it was supposed that Cambiemos easily won.
For example, In the South of Buenos Aires province and in the heart of the most productive wheat region, Tres Arroyos, Peronism obtained 45,5% versus 35% from government coalition Cambiemos.
Another rural city like Chacabuco, in the central region of Buenos Aires, gave the triumph to the Fernandez’s formula. They imposed 47% vs 37%. The same occurred in Junin (44 vs 38%), Salto (46 vs 38%) or Pehuajó (48 vs 38%). Even in Rosario city, where the largest oilseed crushing pole is based, Peronism obtained an easy victory.
Despite Cambiemos won in the most of rural areas, they obtained a narrow margin, far from the 20 or 30 points of difference that they had obtained in 2015 (presidential election) and 2017 (legislative elections).
Farmers in the social networks couldn’t get out of their astonishment and expressed their anger and fury. “I can’t understand how people prefers Kicillof over Vidal”, one of them said. The former Cristina Kirchner’s minister is identified as a Marxist economist. “We will be on the way to be Venezuela”, another stated. Farmers in the networks says that they expect a rising in the export taxes (especially in corn and wheat), and new regulation to export grains and beef. Even the FTA with the European Union is now under uncertainty.
But Alberto Fernandez and Axel Kicillof were showing a high dose of pragmatism in the previous to the primaries. Fernández met the leadership of Rosario Grain Exchange last week, trying to bring them calm. In the Buenos Aires province, Kicillof tryed an approach to the farmers, especially with small and medium ones. He toured the rural areas of the province with his modest Renault car, obtaining the sympathy of the people, which last Sunday translated in votes.
In the next week it will unveil if Argentina goes once again to the war or if a reconciliation will bring peace for all.