Argentina’s economy vice-minister resigns

Joaquín Cottani is close to former Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo, a vocal critic of the government

Former Economy Policy Secretary Joaquín Cottani

Joaquín Cottani resigned on Friday as economic policy secretary, a position that in Argentina is usually considered the economy vice-minister.

Cottani’s resignation is not the first one in a cabinet that has seen more than forty high-profile losses. His departure comes at a time when Federico Sturzenegger, the main architect of the recently approved Ley Bases and famously at odds with Economy Minister Luis Caputo, prepares his formal arrival to the administration.

A spokesperson for the ministry said that Cottani quit due to “family reasons.” “His family lives in New York City, and it was very difficult for him to constantly go and come back,” the source said.

José Luis Daza, an economist who worked with Caputo at JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank, will replace Cottani at the end of the month. “He also lives abroad; that’s why he is arranging personal issues to come to the country,” the spokesperson said.

Cottani had worked in Carlos Menem’s presidential administration during the ‘90s, under then-Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo, with whom he remains close.

Cavallo, the architect of the convertibility regime that pegged the peso to the U.S. dollar, is a vocal critic of Milei’s administration, something media reports have linked Cottani’s resignation to. Cavallo has been particularly critical of the president’s refusal to lift the foreign exchange restrictions collectively known as the “cepo,” Spanish for clamp.

“Until the exchange market is liberalized and reunified, I do not see an important reactivation of the economy,” Cavallo said.

In the seventh review of the Argentina’s program with the International Monetary Fund published in February, the Economy Ministry promised to lift the cepo this year, with a roadmap that it would develop in June. 

However, the Economy Ministry and the Central Bank said in a joint statement last week that the govenrment would eliminate the currency controls only if doing so would not risk its progress fighting inflation and accumulating reserves, stressing  that they would not “include commitments for specific dates or measures.”


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald