The decision that Debora Giorgi is not formally designated as undersecretary It was already taken by President Alberto Fernández himself a week ago and the Secretary of Internal Trade, Roberto Feletti, knew it from that moment. So swear by members of the economic team aware of the “failed” appointment of the former Minister of Industry as an official in charge of negotiating with mass consumer entrepreneurs.
The Giorgi affair brought back reminiscences of a previous internal conflict that came to light in an untimely way in the Frente de Todos and that formed a first episode of the “undersecretary syndrome”: the resignation that was not of Federico Basualdo in the Ministry of Energy at the end of April, something that the minister was looking for Martin Guzman in the middle of a political dispute over the direction that the tariff policy should take. Basualdo, from a political terminal in Cristina Kirchner, he remained at his post.
The Giorgi affair brought back reminiscences of a previous internal conflict that came to light unexpectedly in the Frente de Todos and that formed a first episode of the “undersecretary syndrome”: the resignation that was not by Federico Basualdo
The pattern is repeated in the Giorgi case: a second-line official confronted with the conduct of her ministry and whose continuity in office generates an internal conflict. Unlike Basualdo, the former Minister of Industry was not formally a civil servant because her appointment never passed through the Official Gazette.
“Technically it is not a resignation because it was never an official”, a member of the economic team mentioned with some sarcasm a few hours after the announcement of the exit that let Feletti’s environment transcend. From that official office they targeted directly against the Minister of Productive Development Matias Kulfas, who they accused of having pressured so that the appointment via the Official Gazette of the virtual undersecretary did not finish leaving.
Close to Kulfas they discard that version and assure that it was purely and exclusively a decision of the head of state. “I was looking for another profile”, they assure from the Ministry of Productive Development, beyond the fact that it is a lower hierarchy position. “The President was angry because in recent weeks he had made mistakes that he did not like”, they let it transcend, without further details.
The relationship of the head of the productive portfolio with Giorgi was not very close even before the arrival of the former Minister of Industry to the cabinet. Although the relationship with Feletti “is not a bed of roses”, as they say close to the minister, they recognize that the pace of work is acceptable to be two officials who respond politically to different referents within the Frente de Todos. Kulfas, for example, did not even have a meeting with Giorgi in the 52 days that the now former official in the Ministry of Internal Trade had.
Although the relationship between Kulfas and Feletti “is not a bed of roses”, as they say close to the minister, they recognize that the pace of work is acceptable
It is not a detail but it is not surprising either. Kulfas was very critical of Giorgi’s management at the head of the ministry that he now commands. The book The three Kirchnerisms that Kulfas wrote during the Macrismo to analyze the economic policies of the three governments of that political sign included strong criticisms of the industrial policy of those years, especially during the second half of the Kirchnerist cycle, when Giorgi headed that area.
The now minister questioned, for example, the strong foreign exchange deficit of the industry that in 2010 went from just over 6,000 million dollars in 2010 to 15,400 million dollars in 2013, according to the minister.
In this sense, he also criticized: “There were a multiplicity of actions and programs, but a coordinating institution with strategic criteria was lacking. That role could have been covered by the Ministry of Industry, but it suffered from a very uninnovative look”, He concluded.
According to the economic team, the decision of Alberto Fernández de not validating the “formal” arrival of Giorgi to the cabinet had already been made a week ago and Feletti knew the decision from that moment. The discharge from the Secretary of Internal Commerce was sudden: “52 days after assuming the presidential decree with his appointment, it was not signed, we understand that due to pressure from Kulfas. He got tired and we agreed that he would go away ”.
According to the economic team, the decision of Alberto Fernández not to validate the “formal” arrival of Giorgi to the cabinet had already been taken a week ago and Feletti knew the decision from that moment
The seams of the Frente de Todos were once again exposed in a traumatic episode that shows the difficulties with which the tribes of the Government coalition coexist. The chapter between Kulfas and the Ministry of Internal Trade had already started last week. Feletti had assured in an interview that the option of increasing withholdings was under analysis in the Government to avoid price increases in meat.
Two days later, the Minister of Productive Development seriously disavowed him on the radio, when he assured that “an official cannot think aloud.” To top it all, the bottom line was also a source of internal anger. Both Kulfas and Domínguez -with a good relationship with rural entities- consider that this alternative “is not the favorite option” because it would imply a disincentive to investment. Feletti had unveiled in recent days a plan to gradually increase export duties on meat.