An unusually popular politician
Roberto Lavagna is that rarest of breeds in Argentina: a popular politician. As finance minister he has put the economy on a steady growth course as elections approach.
Where do you see the Argentine economy being headed? The trend of the Argentine economy is absolutely clear. It is perfectly possible to strengthen and to reinforce this trend.
In September last year, when we presented the budget to Congress, our forecast for GDP growth was 3% for this year. At the end of 2002, we decided to modify this forecast to 3.6%. Now I cannot give a precise number, but we are still increasing the forecast. Some private companies, for example Morgan Stanley, now have a forecast of 4.5%, and Santander Group has a forecast of around 5%.
What is important is for us to prepare the best departing point for the new administration. Maybe we are facing the possibility of having the most orderly transition in power of the last three or four transitions in Argentina.
Have you started to talk to their economic teams? In a preliminary way. The candidates just started their campaigns a few weeks ago, and they are still trying to develop their own themes. But all the information is prepared to be given to all the candidates, and it is very clear that all the candidates will receive exactly the same: the same treatment and the same kind of information.