- Title: Argentines, in shadow of crisis, weigh vote for change ahead of Sunday ballot
- Date: 26th October 2019
- Summary: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (OCTOBER 25, 2019) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WALKING IN STREET
- Embargoed: 9th November 2019 21:12
- Keywords: Argentine election campaign preps Macri Fernandez
- Location: BUENOS AIRES / MAR DE PLATA / EL DORADO, MISIONES / CORDOBA, ARGENTINA
- City: BUENOS AIRES / MAR DE PLATA / EL DORADO, MISIONES / CORDOBA, ARGENTINA
- Country: Argentina
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA003B2QHX6V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: In this South American nation stretching from lush jungles in the north to the edge of the Antarctic at its southernmost point, the country's 45 million people are weighing a vote for change ahead of presidential elections on Sunday (October 27).
At the heart of the decision is economic hardship that has roiled Latin America's No. 3 economy since the middle of last year. It has hurt President Mauricio Macri, who under pressure had been pushing austerity measures to rein in debt.
What many in Argentina call the "disease" of inflation is running at an annual rate of over 50%; the country has been in recession for most of the last year and the outlook is darkening; job numbers are down and poverty is above 35%.
In the balance is the future of one of the world's top grain exporters, which is facing knife-edge talks with global creditors on about $100 billion in sovereign debt after a tumbling peso currency sharpened fears of a default.
Macri's main rival, center-leftist Alberto Fernandez, has brought the country's powerful Peronist political flank to the brink of victory. Polls give him a 20-point lead.
His running mate is Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, a populist icon with huge support among the poor who ran the country from 2007 to 2015. She remains divisive and is little loved by investors and the important farm sector.
Fernandez and the Peronists, a nebulous political movement born from the decades-ago rule of Juan Peron and his wife Eva Peron - or Evita - have risen in popularity as Macri's star has waned. Their social welfare focus has been an easier sell than the economic frugality that Macri has argued is needed.
Macri's supporters say he needs more time after inheriting an already weakened economy. His reforms to open the country with trade deals and overseas investment would eventually get the economy going again, they claim.
(Production: Miguel Lo Bianco, Horacio Soria, Geraldine Downer)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None