Veronica Dalto |
Buenos Aires (EFE).- Kirchnerism, the faction of Peronism that began with the presidency of Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007), continued with that of his wife, Cristina Fernández (2007-2015) and currently governs with her as vice president of Alberto Fernández celebrates his 20th anniversary marking the political future of Argentina with fire.
“It is the chronicle of a wasted opportunity,” Gabriel Caamaño, an economist at Consultora Ledesma, told EFE, because Kirchnerism was born from the ashes of the 2001 socioeconomic crisis and, despite having “a very favorable external cycle” until 2008-2009, did not achieve “a sustainable growth process that leads to a development process, rather the opposite.”
Cristina Fernández, who is trying to break away from the current economic crisis, will lead an event in Buenos Aires this Thursday to commemorate that on May 25, 2003, Néstor Kirchner assumed the Argentine presidency, after winning the April 27, 2003 elections with only one 22% of the votes, after his opponent, Carlos Menem, also a Peronist, who had won the first round (24.45%), resigned from appearing in the second.
Kirchner received an economy that was already stabilizing and that during his administration grew strongly while enjoying an external context of high prices for raw materials, low interest rates and a weak dollar. He maintained twin surpluses -fiscal and external- and made progress in deleveraging -restructuring the debt in default and with the International Monetary Fund-.
Society appreciated this redistributive policy, a bonanza that generates nostalgia for part of the population given the strong imbalances that the country is going through today, although inflation also returned with the Kirchners, to which they responded with the intervention of the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses. , which started to report lower than real inflation.
“The Kirchners came to government with an alternative vision of democracy typical of the Latin American left” at the beginning of this century that consists of “prioritizing the relationship between the political leader directly with the people without giving importance to the institutions,” he told EFE the director of Poliarquía Consultores Eduardo Fidanza.
In society, a “crack” widened in those years that today divides “those who invoke the representation of the people and what they claim to defend the values of the republic,” said Fidanza, a separation that some consider began with the confrontation between the Government and the agricultural sector in 2008.
The Kirchners made the vindication of the human rights of the victims of the military dictatorship (1976-1983) a pillar of their government, and a Supreme Court ruling allowed the reopening in 2006 of the trials of the repressors, and later they would advance with the expansion of gender social rights.
The couple consolidated their power within Peronism, and, dreaming of an alternation, Cristina Fernández took office in 2007 as the first elected female president in Argentina.
Kirchner died in October 2010 after suffering a heart attack while he was with his wife in the southern province of Santa Cruz, where he had held power when he was governor between 1991 and 2003.
Already a widow, Fernández was re-elected in 2011 after sweeping 54% of the vote.
But the growth of the first Kirchner years became “unsustainable due to economic policy itself” and “by not wanting to correct it” it caused “stagflation since 2011,” Caamaño explained, since the Fernández administrations lost the twin surpluses, stagnating the economy and inflation accelerated.
The economy was closing down, and as the loss of reserves deepened and the closing of the debt markets, the “exchange stocks” were installed, the scheme of strong restrictions to access the dollar.
Today, Cristina Fernández maintains a strong adherence of a hard core in society, which has a high emotional connection with her, and many recognize her great political capacity.
The presidency of Mauricio Macri (2015-2019), right-wing and non-Peronist, was marked by the need to contrast his administration with that of Kirchnerism.
Cristina’s strategy of running Alberto Fernández as president snatched re-election from Macri, and the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and a fateful drought impacted the current battered economy.
The vice president tries to detach herself from the economic result, with high poverty rates and inflation of 108.8% per year, economic stagnation, shortage of foreign currency and closed debt markets.
After the sentence handed down in 2022 against her -for corruption during her time as president-, the vice president, convinced that Justice has banned her, declined to run for the presidential elections next October, which will determine, according to the support received by the candidate, who she endorses, if it is in decline or more current than ever.