Argentina’s president-elect, Mauricio Macri, vowed to make drastic changes Monday to open up the economy to investors and rearrange foreign ties after his electoral victory over government-backed Peronist candidate Daniel Scioli on Sunday.
“You made the impossible possible,” Macri of the Let’s Change coalition said to supporters Sunday night. Indeed, Macri’s victory marks the first time the corporate elite-aligned, right-wing has come to power in Argentina through democratic means.
Lo que pasó estos meses en la Argentina es inédito, todo tiene carácter de hazaña. Los argentinos han hecho posible lo imposible. #Cambiamos— Mauricio Macri (@mauriciomacri) November 23, 2015
“What happened these months in Argentina is unprecedented, everything has the character of a feat. Argentines have made the impossible possible.”
Macri, a businessman and former mayor of Buenos Aires, has promised to cut capital controls and trade restrictions in the name of boosting the ailing economy. He is also expected to cut subsidies to energy and transportation sectors.
"The is the beginning of a new era that has to carry us toward the opportunities we need to grow and progress," Macri said to supporters Sunday night.
Critics say Macri’s proposals will turn the country back to 1990s neoliberalism, rolling back the social welfare programs of President Cristina Fernandez and her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, which have benefited poor and working class Argentines.
Macri also immediately pledged to reshape international relations, saying he wants Argentina to have “a good relationship with all countries.”
“We want to have and establish good relations with all our brothers and sisters in Latin America and the world.”
The president-elect said he wants to see Venezuela suspended from the South American regional bloc Mercosur and has promised to introduce a “democratic clause” against Venezuela, a country with which President Fernandez cultivated close ties with the regional goal of strengthening Latin American integration.
La decisión de Macri de atacar a Venezuela a través del Mercosur es un claro intento de golpear la integración y unión suramericana— Eva Golinger (@evagolinger) November 23, 2015
“Macri’s decision to attack Venezuela through Mercosur is a clear attempt to strike at South American integration and unity.”
Macri is expected to strengthen relations with the United States and the European Union. His first international visit will be to Brazil to discuss with President Dilma Rousseff reinvigorating trade relations between the two South American countries.
One of Macri’s first steps will be to select his cabinet of ministers, including a new economy chief. Speculation suggests the new minister of the economy will have ties to business elites and be well-positioned to head corporate-friendly economic development.
Macri has been a director of his father’s corporate conglomerate Socma since a young age. Socma has been shown to have benefited economically from dictatorship rule in Argentina, and Macri’s close relationship to business elites, which historically propped up right-wing military regimes in the country, also signals dictatorship ties.
Llega la columna de Plaza de Mayo al ritmo de "Macri basura, vos sos la dictadura" (sic) pic.twitter.com/c4THiBdtsB— Rodrigo Alvarez (@RodrigoAlvarezL) November 23, 2015
“The march arrives at the Plaza de Mayo to the chant of “Macri garbage, you are the dictatorship.”
After a heated campaign and the first presidential runoff in the country’s history, Macri won with 51.4 percent of the vote.
Macri will enter Argentina’s Casa Rosada as president on Dec. 10.