Argentina’s new president-elect anticipates end of exchange controls

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Argentinian president-elect Mauricio Macri said Monday that he will focus his efforts on ending foreign exchange controls, boosting economic growth and fighting corruption and street crime.

The centre-right Macri, 56, sitting mayor of Buenos Aires, is set to succeed Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as president on December 20. In a runoff election Sunday, Macri got 51.4 per cent of the votes, while ruling-party candidate Daniel Scioli got 48.4 per cent.

Macri said he will not be appointing a single finance minister, but rather an economic team with six ministers: treasury, finance, energy, production, transport and agriculture.

He said his main concern in before taking office will be “the state of public accounts,” because government statistics have long been in dispute.

“We still do not know how many [foreign exchange] reserves there are,” he said Monday.

“Reserves are a problem. And inflation is a problem.”

Macri will not have majorities in either house of Congress, though his party will hold the executive in the city of Buenos Aires and the powerful Buenos Aires province adjacent to the capital.

“We will have good dialogue with the Peronists in Congress to get the tools we need to get the country moving,” he said.

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