Sergio Tomás Massa moved frantically, from meeting to meeting, on his journey through Shanghai and Beijing. When he had a break, he would sit down with his Argentine political interlocutors and drop the phrase he repeated like a mantra: "There's an internal and I'll park your car."
The sentence was installed to ratify that, if there is PASO in the Frente de Todos, he will not be sitting witnessing that battle, in the main armchair of the Ministry of Economy. That is: with internal, they will have to look for a plan B for the hottest post in the national Cabinet.
For this reason, Massa returned this Monday to his ministerial routine in Buenos Aires, after a long conversation – from China, last Friday – with Cristina Elisabet Kirchner. They dialogue daily, something that did not change during the Chinese trip, in which Máximo also participated. Another daily interlocutor in this case, his mother.
The current economy minister was betting, at the beginning of this year, to be anointed as the "only candidate" for the presidency of Peronism. Runaway inflation and a lack of fresh funds to calm the reserve crisis diminished his electoral chances. The promise of inflation with 3% ahead of the April index, acted as a self-exclusion for the presidential fight. The discussion about inflation in Argentina will be the main topic of the candidate debates and Massa would appear there, as the face of the current government's price rise. Alberto Ángel Fernández would thus attend that image, from a comfortable armchair in the Presidential Residence of Olivos, almost as if oblivious to this drama that anesthetizes the lives of millions of Argentines.
The definition of candidates in the ruling Frente de Todos runs with Wado de Pedro in the middle of the national installation plan, after the permission received by CFK. Daniel Osvaldo Scioli maintains that he will not get off his candidacy in any way and was shown in several photos last weekend, along with Victoria Tolosa Paz, who is in full recruitment of prosecutors to support an alternative list to Christianity, and dispute for the governorship.
In Christianity they believe that there will be a chance to negotiate with the armed Sciolista and thus avoid a PASO that relegates the Peronist candidates to third, fourth or fifth place in the Primaries. This would be so if Javier Milei was the one with the most votes in the Primaries (for being the only candidate of his force), Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and Patricia Bullrich disputing the second and third place (when going Together for Change with two candidates) and the pre-candidates Frente to the tail of their rivals.
This scenario worries Massa and he affirms that this would forcefully alter the progress of the economy (already troubled) and that he would not be complicit in that economic mess. For this reason, he is cutting on the possibility of an open-air intern in Peronism: "There is an internal and I park your car," is the mantra of the native of Tigre.
On the long journey back from China, Massa and Maximo Kirchner reviewed electoral scenarios with Juan Manuel Olmos, the deputy cabinet chief who acts as a conciliator between the different internal sectors in conflict. The economy minister does not criticize Wado de Pedro: but he does believe that he should be the candidate of the Peronist unity. How to reconcile that with Scioli and those close to the president still has no political answer.
Sergio Massa and Miguel Pesce together with the head of the Central Bank of China after the signing of the swap renewal - Photo Ministry of Economy
Massa tries to convey that he does not ask to be "him" the only candidate: "I am not interested in my place, I am interested in order. I want us to put Mickey, but I'm interested in economic stability. And that is with political order that is achieved with a single candidate, "answered chats the minister on Monday night, while dining at his house for the 18th birthday of his son Toto.
Next Saturday will be the congress of the Frente Renovador, the force that Massa created in 2013. There, you will need to arrive with your definite plan. Postponing that party appointment again would be a blow to Malena Galmarini's husband. The days are pressing in Peronism and Massa already has his header phrase to show himself as "me or chaos".