Guillermo Francos leaves IDB to join Milei’s team

He was named Argentina’s Inter-American Development Bank representative by President Alberto Fernández

Argentina’s Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) representative, Guillermo Francos, is leaving the organization to join La Libertad Avanza presidential candidate Javier Milei’s team, he announced Sunday.

The announcement marks a change in direction for the banker: Francos was assigned to represent Argentina at the institution by President Alberto Fernández when he took office in December 2019, and worked on Daniel Scioli’s presidential campaign as part of the Frente para la Victoria coalition in 2015. He is an IDB executive director for Argentina and Haiti, and dean of the IDB’s board. 

“I have accepted [an offer] to join Milei’s team,” Francos said in a brief statement.

Francos said he would leave his IDB role in the coming days to avoid affecting “any sensitivities in such a crucial moment” of Argentina’s “young democracy”.

“I am thankful for the opportunity I was given to defend our country’s interests, and those of Latin America and the Caribbean, in the most important development institution in the region.” 

Francos added that he is convinced that he has “honored that trust,” and is confident in “agreeing to work in the team led by Javier Milei to build a liberal Argentina like [Juan Bautista] Alberdi wanted: modern, developed, more fair and dignified,” referring to one of Argentina’s most prominent 19th-century liberal intellectuals.

Milei, the only presidential candidate for far-right libertarian coalition LLA, received the largest share of votes in the August 13 primaries with 30%, unexpectedly beating the main opposition bloc Juntos por el Cambio (28.2%) and the ruling coalition, Unión por la Patria (27.2%).

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Francos has worked as a public official for most of his career, starting during the so-called Revolución Argentina military government in 1970, as secretary in the Justice Ministry. He also worked for President María Estela Martínez de Perón’s government between 1974 and 1976, and for the last military government (1976-1982).

After that, he founded the Partido Federal, which was aligned with the last military government’s ideals, and was councilor for Buenos Aires city with that party from 1985 to 1993. In 1996, he founded the Acción por la República party (AR) with ultra-liberal economist Domingo Cavallo, who had just left Carlos Menem’s administration as Economy Minister at the time. With AR, Francos was elected national deputy in 1997.

In 2000 he left his seat in Congress and started working for Corporación América, Argentine magnate Eduardo Eurnekian’s business group.

From 2007 to 2011 he was president of the Buenos Aires province public bank Banco Provincia. He returned to Eurnekian’s group in 2012. In 2015, he worked in Scioli’s presidential campaign, while he was president of Corporación América’s Wilobank digital bank.


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