Javier Milei drafts his economic team with two former Menem officials
The candidate announced the inclusion of Carlos Rodríguez and Roque Fernández as possible advisors when he arrives at Casa Rosada
Karin Silvina Hiebaum – International Press
Source La NACION
Javier Milei and Roque Fernández, Carlos Menem’s former Minister of Economy.
With two former officials of Carlos Menem, Libertad Avanza presidential candidate Javier Milei is moving forward in shaping a possible economic team if it comes to power. Through a statement, the libertarian announced the inclusion of Carlos Rodríguez and Roque Fernández, who were part of the Menemist government in the 1990s, in his group of advisors.
Rodriguez, who served as head of the Cabinet of Advisors of the Ministry of Economy between 1996 and 1998 and was Secretary of Economic Policy, would be the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors of the Presidency in the event of Milei’s triumph in the October elections.
This council would also consist of Roque Fernández, former Minister of Economy of the Nation and former president of the Central Bank during Menem’s government. They would also carve into the proposals emerging from this team Alberto Benegas Lynch (H), who recently accompanied Milei in the presentation of his latest book, and economist Juan Carlos De Pablo.
«In the late 1978 I returned from the United States to join CEMA, where I am still after 45 years. The CEMA became UCEMA and I was its founding rector for 24 years,» Rodríguez explained about his beginnings in the statement distributed by La Libertad Avanza. In this sense, the former Menemist official added: «Something similar happened to Roque Fernández. He was working at the IMF when he received the offer to integrate CEMA and decided to return, also in 1978. Roque Fernández accompanied me all these years, also since we were students at the University of Chicago. Now we are both professors emeritus at that university.
Rodriguez also recalled his time in public service with Fernández, who was chief of advisors and deputy minister for two years. «With Roque, we share the same principles of political and economic freedom, openness, integration and competition as cornerstones of a modern capitalist society. These principles guided our research and teaching activities from the time we joined CEMA to the present,» he recounted.
Roque Fernández is described by Rodríguez as «a fundamental pillar in the implementation of the convertibility plan». The truth is that, during the passage of both by the Ministry of Economy, in 1996, one of the most severe adjustments was announced up to that time, which included a fiscal package that included a strong increase in tax pressure and the reduction or disappearance of several incentive regimes for exports and investment.
In 2018, in an interview with LA NACION, Fernández had stated that «the strong growth of the debt can make populism re-emerge» and that the fiscal adjustment should not be made by lowering pensions or salaries, but by eliminating «union privilege boxes». «We must isolate those sectors of extreme poverty from any adjustment by identifying them in the right way, with a mechanism similar to the SUBE card. And then raise all the rates for the rest of the population. This delaying the adjustments is not useful to get out of this populist disaster. It is an effort that we must make together, although it will cost the ruling party votes», he told this newspaper at the time, in the middle of Mauricio Macri’s government.