By Karin Silvina Hiebaum – Austria
The businessmen and women present at the lunch of the Inter-American Trade and Production Council, where the libertarian candidate participated, praised his technical speech. However, questions remain about the feasibility of the proposed plan.
As the second round of elections approaches, the exhausting months of the campaign, the listening to proposals and the constant meetings with technical teams of all the candidates have left part of the red circle fatigued and waiting for the end of the electoral process to obtain some certainty about the next Government, especially in terms of the cabinet and the first measures.
This is the panorama summarized by some of the 300 businessmen who attended the lunch organized by the Inter-American Council of Trade and Production (Cicyp) to receive the candidate of La Libertad Avanza, Javier Milei. This meeting represented the last interaction of the libertarian with an executive audience before the celebration of the ballot next Sunday.
Javier Milei before entrepreneurs: “If a Rodrigazo explodes, inflation can go to 1,800%”
During the evening at the Alvear Palace hotel, conversations revolved around who was the winner of the debate, exchanging information about bets in the United States that pointed to a favorite for Sunday. Unlike other similar events organized by the entity chaired by Marcos Pereda, the guest gave a brief speech, answered the questions of the public and withdrew before the dishes were served.
On Thursday, it will be the turn of Sergio Massa, who will receive similar treatment. He even considered the possibility, as a gesture of fair play, of asking the same questions that were asked Milei: economic growth in the midst of the crisis, the need to improve infrastructure and foreign trade relations.
Javier Milei at the Cicyp
The proximity of the elections urges the red circle to seek a more concrete approach to a government plan. The presence of the libertarian and a small group of relatives, including the former candidate for head of government Ramiro Marra and the adviser appointed as eventual Minister of the Interior of a government of La Libertad Avanza, Guillermo Francos, generated expectations. The latter met at the Alvear Palace with several former co-workers from Aeropuertos Argentina 2000.
From a technical point of view, his speech was very well received by a businessman with a long career at Cicyp. However, doubts arose about the feasibility of his proposals. Other industrialists, such as one with a production plant in the second cordon of the Buenos Aires conurbation, expressed some pessimism in the short term, although they left open the possibility that the situation will improve in the long term.
An acquaintance of the red circle who had already expressed his support for Milei is Cristiano Ratazzi, former president of Fiat. “On Sunday everything will be very tight, it will be necessary to monitor well. It is absurd that our country is the only one where you have to worry about auditing,” he told the Infobae site. He added that he saw Milei well in the debate, although another colleague was more critical: “Milei lost the debate 10 to 1.”
The executive feeling about the electoral result shows a very even situation. Adelmo Gabbi, president of the Stock Exchange, ventured to predict that, among the presidents of the Group of 6, the vote would end 4 to 2 in favor of Massa or 3 to 3. He showed enthusiasm by pointing out the bets made in the United States, which indicated a change in expectations in favor of Milei in the last week.
The candidate of La Libertad Avanza again defended his idea of putting an end to public works, generating some irritation in an auditorium composed of numerous entrepreneurs in the construction sector. Despite some discrepancies, he received applause when addressing his vision of international trade relations, aligning himself with the United States, Israel and the free world, and rejecting any link with communists or those who do not respect peace and liberal democracy. Uncertainty grows due to the lack of concrete answers about Milei’s team and its plans for an eventual transition from December 10. Businessmen present sought clarifications about the future cabinet, Milei’s vision for the transition and the first steps he would take as president. However, the answers were scarce, since Milei attended accompanied by referents of his space, but none with an economic profile.
Javier Milei at the Cicyp
In this climate of uncertainty, a veteran businessman and member of the Chamber of Commerce (CAC) stated that he does not remember “a climate of uncertainty as great as this one.” Although he avoided making comparisons with 2001 regarding the size of the economic crisis, he pointed out that 2024 is seen as a complex year, where the next president will have to make significant decisions, and the big question is how it will affect companies.
Despite the unidentified unknowns, the libertarian’s speech, along with his answers to the questions of the executive audience, offered a detailed diagnosis of the severity of the crisis, emphasizing the problem that Milei identifies as most urgent: the Leliq. According to his perspective, this would be the main front to be addressed during his government, since without solving this problem first, there would be no way to release the exchange rate. In addition, he insisted that, with the yield, the economy could not resume the path of growth.