Name? Alberto Fernandez
Westphalian identity? Argentinian
Why is he in the news? In case you had not heard, much of this year, President Alberto Fernandez and Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (CFK) of Argentina spent their time not speaking to each other. Why? Mostly over ideological differences on how to run the economy. Kirchner, who is mostly credited for Fernandez’s rise to power; and Fernandez, who is known for being CFK’s political lifeline, were at extreme odds as to how to better help Argentina recover economically, and whether to implement ‘kirchnerismo’ as a remedy.
Why do we care? Well, Argentina is mostly ever in the news either for miraculously doing well or for being on the brink of collapse. Right now, it is the latter. Fernandez and Kirchner led a country in economic decline to a complete political stalemate. As the deadlock ended, pragmatic economics won over, and Kirchner sat back. Now, Argentina will be subject to strict conditions from the IMF (which Fernandez had promised never to do).
Why should you care? You guessed it, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated deep economic crises, which have led to two cabinet resignations (including the Minister of the Economy) and increasing protests. Argentina is a major soy and corn producer for the world, and rising costs of energy imports as well as inflation are crippling their production. You should care 3/10.
Who else cares? IMF director Kristina Georgieva recently had a relieving call with the new Minister of the Economy, Silvina Batakis. Following the abrupt exit of Batakis’s predecessor, Georgieva is happy to state that Argentina will be committing to IMF conditions under Batakis. The eleventh time’s the charm!
Any further comments? Although they share last names, Fernandez and Kirchner are indeed not related. Just a funny coincidence. Kirchner, however, was married to late President Nestor Kirchner.