On December 10, Alberto Fernandez was sworn in as President of the Argentine Republic in a ceremony held at the Argentine Congress that saw outgoing Mauricio Macri hand him the presidential sash and staff, the symbols of leadership. Following the handover, President Fernandez addressed the Argentine public and announced the first measures to be taken by his government. Among the most noteworthy is the implementation of a massive system of non-banking credits to provide loans at low rates, a decision he linked to the efforts needed to tackle poverty, saying “today, our people are taking out loans to buy food and medicines, or to pay public services bills.”
The president also announced the launch of state funded scholarships to provide training and jobs for young people, a Public Works Reactivation Plan, and an initiative to boost housing. He also revealed the role of the Federal Intelligence Agency in restructuring the country’s intelligence system and strategic information gathering.
Fernandez said he will create a council to design strategies to advance the country’s claim of sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, and that in the next few days he will send Congress a set of laws enshrining a comprehensive reform of the federal justice system.
With respect to the International Monetary Fund, Fernandez reported that a “constructive and cooperative relationship” will be sought with creditors and that Argentina “has the will to pay.” Finally, he announced that the National Budget for 2020, which had been sent to Congress by President Macri in September, will not be be studied by parliament.