The vast majority of books by past presidents tend to be laudatory in their management. If Mauricio Macri’s, ahead of Argentina between 2015 and 2019, has a positive difference, it is that of making several self-criticisms on the period during which a sector of society nourished the hope that there would be a huge transformation. politics and economics. , a promise that ended up being frustrated.
In “Primer Tiempo” (ed. Planeta), Macri admits that the speed with which the dollar headquarters were withdrawn in the early days of the administration was rushed, and that it should have been accompanied by other measures. He says that the rhetoric he used, of not blaming the previous management of the state of the finances, but making proposals for the future, has not served. Polarization is so vivid in the country that a conciliatory narrative, he says, failed to let the people know how broken the country was and how difficult their task was. He also says he has spent too much time on productivity and foreign policy issues, that he has delegated internal political articulation to other members of the government, and that is why that would have failed.
Finally, he admits to having failed in the strategy of co-opting moderate Peronists around his proposal. In the book, he says that some accepted it at first, but quickly abandoned it because leaving Peronism would mean they would lose several benefits. “Kirchnerism has hijacked Peronism,” he says, still trying to attract Peronists not aligned with ex-president Cristina Kirchner, also current vice-president.
In recent weeks, Macri’s apology to society through this mea culpa has been analyzed, debated, criticized. They also allowed the former president to resume dialogue with his constituency, which sees honesty in his explanations.
“Do you feel frustrated that you failed and, with it, allowed Peronism to return?” Asked a reporter in an interview program.
“What do you think? Of course, I haven’t worked four years to restore power to them.
Macri has this characteristic, in quick responses he commits a certain “sincericide”.
In the book, he tells about the passing of the baton and the presidential belt to Alberto Fernández. In Argentina, it is quite unusual for transfers of power between opposing parties to occur in peace. On the contrary, Macri broke a tradition more like a curse, that of being the first non-Peronist to end a term democratically.
This is where he bet his last chip, as he says in the book. He accepted defeat as a Democrat and decided to attend the inauguration, hug his successor and wish him good luck, fulfilling his institutional duty, even with the ugly face of Cristina Kirchner, and the song of the Peronist march at high volume like a hostile soundtrack.
All the sympathy he tried to show that day, however, wears off with this response. In fact, Macri was furious that day. And I would start there too to mount my revenge, even if I always repeat that it is the Peronists who are the vindictive of Argentine history.
The title of the book, “Primer Tiempo”, shows what’s to come. Not only does he call for identifying with football (he’s a sports fanatic and was president of Boca Juniors), but he announces that a second half is on the way, possibly even with a new Macri candidacy.
The book is weak and childish. With no major accomplishments from his tenure, Macri recounts irrelevant episodes as if it were a movie-worthy saga. For example, when he managed to bypass traffic in Rome to arrive in time for the inauguration ceremony of Pope Francis.
In other moments of “sincericide”, he tells how he suffers not to have been able to change country, and that it is only worse because he has his weekends and his possibilities to spend his time without working and playing. football with friends – Macri’s family is one of the richest in the country.
But if the story is naive, Macri is not, and neither is his environment. The book is hitting bookstores, and it is returning to the stage of attention, just as the country is going through a serious moment. This weekend, it was reported that hospitals in Buenos Aires saturated their intensive care units for the first time. The pandemic is more aggressive in this second wave than last year, and the number of coronavirus deaths is approaching 60 million. The government, having no more liquidity, has stopped helping the population, unemployment is increasing and commercial activity is stagnant.
Alberto Fernández’s popularity has plummeted. Vaccines are lacking, while government politicians are illegally vaccinated. Finally, the Argentines are starting to feel that there is no command and that the year 2021 will be very difficult.
There will be legislative elections in the second half of the year, and Macri’s political group, the Juntos por el Cambio alliance, led by him and his party, the PRO (republican proposal), intends to take advantage of this bad moment of Peronism to resume spaces in Parliament, return to develop as a political force and, in 2023, perhaps return to the command of the nation.
“Primer Tiempo” presents several issues with Macri’s management, but tries to convey the feeling that not all are worse than what’s currently happening in Argentina. And that, in a second step, he would know what mistakes not to make and how to present his proposal again. “You sometimes have to take two steps back to take a step forward,” repeats the former president.
The second half of Argentina’s recent political game, marked by the polarization between Macri and Cristina, may be about to begin. However, in addition to two beaten and worn out teams, it is necessary to stress that the pitch is all potholes, the ball is withered and the supporters are discouraged.