Buenos Aires (AP) – In the middle of a serious economic crisis, Argentina’s Economics Minister Martín Guzmán has thrown in the towel.
The 39-year-old economist handed in his resignation on Saturday in the face of a massive devaluation of the national currency, the peso, against the US dollar, rising inflation, protests by farmers and a lack of political support.
Guzmán was considered an important confidant of President Alberto Fernández. Most recently, he negotiated a new loan agreement for the heavily indebted country with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, he was repeatedly attacked by supporters of Vice President and former head of state Cristina Kirchner.
Guzmán: Political agreement in the coalition “essential”
“Based on my experience, I believe it is imperative to work towards a political agreement within the governing coalition so that someone replacing me will have centralized access to the macroeconomic tools needed to consolidate progress and address the challenges ahead cope,” Guzmán wrote in his resignation statement. “This will help my successor to continue efforts for economic and social progress with the necessary political support.”
The second largest economy in South America has been in a severe economic crisis for years. Argentina faces a bloated state apparatus, lower industrial productivity and a large informal economy that deprives the state of much tax revenue. The national currency, the peso, continues to depreciate against the US dollar, and the mountain of debt is constantly growing. The inflation rate is 60.7 percent.