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Macri campaigns for president in Davos

City Mayor Mauricio speaks in Davos yesterday.
Says country will join Latin American growth wave in 2015 — after CFK leaves

Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri declared that Argentina “will join Latin America’s new wave of growth by 2015” during his speech yesterday at the Davos World Economic Forum in a bid to position himself as a solid presidential candidate before the international audience that is attending the global financial summit.

“We will have a more reliable country, with a clear set of rules and open to global opportunities,” Macri promised to business leaders and heads of government that were following his words in the Swiss town that welcomes global leaders every year.

Without any Kirchnerite rival nearby to refute him, Macri seized the moment to display a number of promises and critiques of the national government.

“One of the major challenges we have as a country is to move forward in strengthening the democratic institutions and the rule of law”.

In addition, the centre-right PRO party leader emphasized that his goal will be “to work to generate growth with inclusion where there will be neither proliferation of the ‘culture of indifference’ nor an economy of exclusion, as Pope Francis said.”

It’s not the first time that Macri includes the globally popular Pontiff’s words in his speeches. Only this time, his quote came after Ghana cardinal Peter Tukson had read a letter sent by Pope Francis to all decision-makers attending the meeting in Davos.

“An inclusive approach that takes account of all people’s dignity and the common good,” Cardinal Tukson said, citing the Pope.

Basing part of his own statements in Francis’ words, Macri highlighted that Argentina has a historic opportunity in 2015 when presidential elections will be held — a clear nod to his own efforts to succeed the government as he continues to try to position himself as the main opponent of President Cristina Fernández de Kichner’s government.

Although the electoral contest is still nearly a year and a half away, opposition politicians have been quite busy during the summer months rallying support in the country’s coastal towns.

The day before embarking to Davos, Macri specifically alluded to his possible rivals questioning them for failing to attend the global meeting that gathers some of the bigger and most prominent names in the financial and political field.

Macri cautiously referred to them as “other politicians who want to run as candidates” taking special care not to openly name any contender who could eventually become an ally in the two-year race ahead.

The Buenos Aires City Mayor was the only high-ranking Argentine politician to show his face at Davos. Following a tradition established during the last few years, no Kirchnerite envoy was sent to the World Economic Forum and, therefore, few Kirchnerite allies were taken by surprise when Argentina received a bad grade in the Swiss city.

According to the annual survey that PricewaterhouseCoopers publishes based on the opinion of nearly 1,300 global CEOs, Argentina was one of the worst-ranking countries regarding its business climate, expectations, confidence and the quality of its institutions.

Only one in 10 businessmen operating in the country expressed optimism about his firms’ revenues for the short term.

From Buenos Aires City, Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich responded to the survey during his daily news briefing denying the lack of “institutional quality.” He even attributed those accusations to “the economic power hidden in concentrated groups.”

“There are terms in office, an opposition, free and independent media, so what institutional quality are they speaking of?” Capitanich asked while recalling that President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s victory in 2011 added up to “nearly 55 percent of the votes.”

“Congress is working regularly and governors are elected democratically, as lawmakers and senators,” the Cabinet Chief added.

A BUSY SCHEDULE

Mayor Macri was invited to the World Economic Forum as part of a political panel that also included Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli, Brazilian state Minas Gerais Governor Antonio Junho Anastasia and the Andean Development Corporation head Enrique García.

But Macri also took the time to meet with Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino to talk about cultural exchange and technological equipment for garbage treatment, and publicly invited him to visit Buenos Aires City.

Macri also got together with Barcelona Mayor Xavier Trias and Madrid Mayor Ana Botella, former Spanish head of government José María Aznar’s wife.

Before heading back to Buenos Aires City, Mayor Macri reserved one last slot in his busy schedule to meet with Olympic authorities who are organizing February Winter Games in the Russian city of Sochi to receive information about the ongoing preparations.

In 2018, Buenos Aires City will host the Youth Olympic Games and Macri hopes that a PRO ally will be ruling the City after he leaves office.

Herald staff with DyN. Online media.

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