Outgoing President Alberto Fernández bid farewell to Casa Rosada employees on his last day at the seat of government, saying he is leaving president-elect Javier Milei a “running, working country.” However, he lamented “not having been able to solve the poverty problem.”
Although he will hand over the presidency to Milei on December 10, Fernández will spend the next few days in Brazil for the annual Mercosur presidential summit, which will be his last official activity as president.
“I am [finishing my term] confident that we never enforced a policy that would harm the poor, ever,” Fernández said.
On Sunday, Fernández said he doesn’t think the INDEC statistics bureau’s poverty numbers “are being measured correctly.” INDEC’s latest report, published in September, found that four out of 10 Argentines live under the poverty line, while a report by the Argentine Catholic University’s respected Argentine Observatory on Social Debt said the poverty line reached 44.7% in the third quarter of 2023.
“I am leaving through the same door I walked in, in the same car I came here, and to the same house I came from,” Fernández said in a brief speech. “I hope I see you again [someday] and always be able to look at you in the eye because you and I know we worked for the people.”
Fernández added that he is handing over Milei a country with over 4,000 public works finished during his term and other 3,000 in progress, and added that “the unemployment level is at its lowest it has been in years.”
Fernández, who took power on December 10, 2019, took selfies with several employees who came up to him. During his speech, he thanked them and all public administration employees, calling them “the engine that kept the public sector working.”
The president highlighted that his last measure was eliminating the extra cost for long-distance calls, published in the Official Bulletin on Tuesday but “flew under the radar.”
— with information from Télam.