Argentina’s Economy Minister Sergio Massa will stay on in his role during the president-elect period, the economy ministry has confirmed. The news rules out initial reports that he would make an early exit after his landslide defeat in Sunday’s presidential run-off against libertarian Javier Milei.
In a meeting Monday, he appointed a four-person economic transition team that will oversee the last 20 days of President Alberto Fernández’s administration before Milei takes office on December 10.
The team’s members are Economic Policy Secretary Gabriel Rubinstein, who has performed a role similar to vice minister; chief economic advisor Leonardo Madcur; Treasury Secretary Raúl Rigo; and Central Bank President Miguel Pesce.
The meeting took place in San Fernando, just to the south of Tigre, the Buenos Aires Province town where Massa rose to the political limelight as mayor. Top officials from his team attended, including Central Bank Vice President Lisandro Cleri, Energy Secretary Flavia Royón, Finance Secretary Eduardo Setti, Commerce Secretary Matías Tombolini, as well as leaders from the INDEC statistics bureau and Customs.
Even before official results were in on Sunday night, Massa took to the stage at his campaign house to concede defeat. During his speech, he announced that he would also retire from politics.
Massa became economy minister in August 2022, after Martín Guzmán resigned amid coalition infighting over the extended fund facility negotiated with the International Monetary Fund in March. The deal replaced the record US$44 billion credit line taken by former President Mauricio Macri.
Dubbed the economy “superminister,” Massa was put in charge of an expanded economy ministry that included agriculture and productive development, a move that many said put him in line for a shot at the presidency. However, faced with economic headwinds including a punishing drought this year, he was ultimately unable to bring poverty and inflation under control.