After more than a decade of leftist government, voters in Argentina elected Mauricio Macri, a wealthy businessman and Buenos Aires mayor, as their new president on Nov. 22, 2015. The centre-right politician has promised more pro-business and free market policies that he believes will tackle some of the country’s biggest problems, which include record low foreign reserves, a vast budget deficit and an inflation rate running at an annual pace of more than 20%. In his first weeks in office, he made good on a campaign promise to dismantle capital controls and has also cut taxes on agricultural exports including beef, wheat, corn and soybeans. He has also sent members of his government to meet with the mediator in Argentina’s conflict with foreign bondholders in an effort to bring an end to the South American country’s isolation from international credit markets. In addition, Macri has raised interest rates on short term fixed deposits to help keep a lid on inflation. Other campaign promises include plans to raise tariffs on electricity and natural gas. The Northern Miner asked Rob McEwen, founder of McEwen Mining, which has several assets in the country, for his take on the new government.
The Northern Miner: There seems to be a growing sense of hope around Argentina and certainly the new president is off to a very quick start.
Rob McEwen: Yes it’s a breath of fresh air that is most welcome, particularly for the mining industry.
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