Argentina's president-elect unveils new cabinet

Argentina's president-elect unveils new cabinet

Argentina's President-elect Alberto Fernandez, who will take office on Dec. 10, on Friday unveiled his cabinet amid debt burdens and a sluggish economy in the South American country. His coalition government has 20 ministries, compared to the 11 ministries under the leadership of his outgoing predecessor Mauricio Macri. Fernandez named Martin Guzman as the South American country's new economy minister, describing him as "very prepared" for the office. "He knows very well the debt conflicts and the macroeconomic conflicts Argentina has," Fernandez said when introducing his cabinet. Guzman, 37, is a debt restructuring expert and is expected to help Argentina in dealing with international creditors and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The central bank will be headed by economist Miguel Angel Pesce, who previously criticized the policy of the central bank under Macri. The arrangements are believed to show a shift from the austerity policies adopted by Macri's government. Fernandez won the October elections with some 48 percent of the vote, compared to 41 percent for Macri. Argentina suffers from a huge debt burden. In 2018, Macri's government signed a massive loan package worth 57 billion U.S. dollars with the IMF, the biggest loan in IMF history. High inflation and unemployment rates, the current poverty level of almost 41 percent, and structural problems in taxes, labor and pensions are also among the severe economic challenges facing Fernandez's new government. In Fernandez's picks for cabinet members, the ministry of production will be led by Matias Kulfas, foreign affairs by Felipe Sola, the interior by Eduardo de Pedro, and defense by Agustin Rossi. During the announcement, the president-elect was joined by all members of the new cabinet. Enditem