Argentina 2019
The return of Nielsen: How Nestor Kirchner's Finance Minister aims to become Argentina's Economy Supersecretary
The Fernández-Kirchner ticket see him as a moderate voice for the international markets and partners like the U.S. and Brazil. His aim could be to take over the Economy.

The harsh statement of Guillermo Nielsen, former Finance Minister under Néstor Kirchner, about Axel Kicillof, another Kirchnerist former Finance Minister currently running for Governor of Provincia de Buenos Aires, does not seem to have relegated him from joining the cabinet of presidential candidate Alberto Fernández, despite the foreseeable rejection he generated in the Instituto Patria, the headquarters of Cristina Kirchner's political operation. Despite having branded Axel Kicillof as an "ignorant" and a "Marxist disguised as Keynesian," Nielsen's name sounds like a possible Foreign Ministry if Fernández wins the election.

Although Fernández emphasized that Nielsen is not his economic reference, inside his circle, he acknowledges that they speak regularly. "Alberto greatly values ??Nielsen's understanding of the markets and his international prestige, virtues that do not abound in this political space," declared to LPO sources close to the candidate.

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The international isolation faced by the Peronist formula, headed by Fernández and former President Cristina Kirchner, is brutal, starting with the public rejection of the presidents of two strategic allies of Argentina such as Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro and Donald Trump in the United States: the largest trading partner and the main source of foreign investments for Argentina, respectively. .

In Alberto's circle, they are aware of the distrust that Cristina generates internationally and in the markets. They believe that Nielsen could navigate comfortably in the main centers of global power to bring peace of mind about the return of Kirchner to the Casa Rosada.

But favoritism for Macri is not only palpable in right-wing governments such as Brazil and the U.S., but also with presumably ideologically closer presidents such as the Spanish socialist Pedro Sánchez or the historic leader of the Uruguayan Broad Front Tabaré Vázquez, who feel more comfortable with the free-trade philosophy of Macri's party Cambiemos.

The Nielsen case also reveals the lack of an economic spokesperson in the Fernández campaign.

"The first Minister of Economy is going to be expendable. Only in the second year of the administration, with the mid-term election, can there be any funds," Nielsen said in the conversations

The finance specialist is not a beginner in diplomatic matters either. Nielsen was Cristina's ambassador to Germany, speaks four languages ?fluently, advises companies in various countries, and was an agricultural advisor for the first rounds of Mercosur negotiations with the European Union. It also maintains relations with international organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank, after his role as a foreign debt negotiator in the early years of the Nestor Kirchner administration.

Sources close to Nielsen told LPO that the idea of joining the eventual cabinet first as Foreign Minister came from his friends Javier Milei and Diego Giacomini, who warned him that "the first Lenicov Remittances will be made by the first one take charge of the Ministry of Economy." According to the analysis of the liberals, the economic situation is so delicate that Alberto will be forced to apply a severe adjustment during his first year.

Peronist presidential candidate Alberto Fernández and Cristina's former Minister of Finance Axel Kiciloff

"The first Minister of Economy is going to be expendable. Only in the second year of the administration, with the mid-term election, can there be any funds," Nielsen said in the conversations.

This diagnosis is shared even by economists close to Kicillof, such as Emmanuel Álvarez Aggis, who in an interview with El Cronista anticipated that it will be necessary to "freeze the distribution of income for one year."

Faced with this scenario, Nielsen, from the Foreign Ministry, could take advantage of the free trade agreements that are driving the new open approach of Mercosur that Macri and Bolsonaro push. Despite the criticisms of the more radical sectors of Kirchnerism, in Alberto's circle believe that Argentina can hardly stop a turn that is encouraging unanimous support in the region, including "left" governments such as those in Bolivia and Uruguay.

Nielsen's allies recognize that his dream is still to lead the national economy. His idea would be to repeat the trajectory of former Minister Cavallo in the 90s, when he joined Carlos Menem's government through the Foreign Ministry and then took control of the Economy

However, even with this favorable scenario in foreign relations, Nielsen's allies recognize that his dream is still to lead the national economy. His idea would be to repeat the trajectory of former Minister Cavallo in the 90s, when he joined Carlos Menem's government through the Foreign Ministry and then took control of the Economy. "He has a great desire and is very active. He imagines a mega ministry that encompasses other areas such as Energy, which he considers essential to generate the necessary foreign exchange," the sources emphasize.

Although today it does not seem to have many chances, its main asset lies in the lack of experience of its opponents. "It is impossible to replicate the cabinet of Cristina's last term, even La Cámpora recognizes this fact. Álvarez Aggis is missing many carats to occupy that position and Kulfas will surely end up in the Ministry of Production which is his specialty. There is no other candidate like Guillermo Nielsen and he talks to Cristina a lot more than is believed. She trusts him" the sources said.

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