What are the differences between 2023 and 2015, when you had to compete for the presidency against Mauricio Macri?
I feel that in every election there is a new demand. In 2015 it was the change, in 2019 'we can't stand this adjustment anymore'. And today I feel that next to the truth will prevail reliability, experience, moderation, good sense, who can coordinate internal and external agreements. There are no extreme positions. Next to the truth will not go the ideas of dynamiting everything because everything is wrong and neither will they take the path of dollarization, of initiatives that embodies Freedom Advances interpreting the anger of society, which is right, but there is no more room for suffering.
Sergio Massa asks for only one candidate, why do you want PASO to be competitive?
Because the PASO are the great political and economic computer at this moment that the Frente de Todos is going through. The single best candidate is the people, of their choice. And there are a lot of people who want to participate. And that is what will give us the best prospects of victory in the October election. I don't think there is a single candidate who has a big difference over others, who has a weight on his own. There are some with more or less, but polls today are political advertising operations. It is our space that is very competitive. If there is anyone who is committed to unity, it is me. For 25 years in Peronism I have been occupying different responsibilities, with Eduardo Duhalde, with Adolfo Rodríguez Saá, when Néstor (Kirchner) summoned me. I'm not just the one asking for the PASOs. Agustín Rossi and Wado de Pedro have said so. Also Juan Grabois. When I started in politics, the inmates against Miguel Angel Toma cleared everything and then I beat Gustavo Beliz and Domingo Cavallo. In the Province, the PASO between Diego Santilli and Facundo Manes strengthened them in 2021. In 2015, I won the PASO by 14 points and then Mauricio Macri added and they won. The PASO are the power of the people who democratically order the candidacies.
And the governors and mayors, who are demanding a single candidacy?
The agenda of what the governors are asking for, with me is guaranteed. As I did with Brazil, my commitment is to federalism. They ask for unity, and that is going to happen through the definition of the PASO. And mayors seek governance and support. What they express to me is that the best thing that could happen to them to have more chances is to go with the two gubernatorial tickets: with Victoria (Tolosa Paz) and with Axel (Kicillof) and also with me and with whoever I have to compete for president, because it will give them greater political volume. When one looks at the governors who have won, there are many provinces that have PASO or slogan law.
Do you propose two candidates for the PASO or more?
"I wouldn't limit anyone. Let everyone who wants to apply. Macri in 2015 had three, with the Civic Coalition and the radicalism.
Why do you think leaders like Cecilia Moreau come out to say that Massa is fed up and that a single candidate is needed?
-It is your point of view, I respect it. I will never go into answering those things, what you cannot use is the word fed up. People are fed up because their salary is not enough, they are hit by inflation or episodes of insecurity.
Interview with Daniel Scioli. Photo: Martín Bonetto.
Can an economy minister be a candidate with this level of inflation?
I will not deny or disqualify the aspiration of any candidate. We have to try to make him do as well as possible. When I ran in the boat I never thought about sinking the other to win, or to score a goal that a teammate kicks the rival goalkeeper so that Pichichi can enter the area and score a goal. Let's level up.
And after the PASO, what can happen to the level of conflict in the Front?
-I play chess a lot and I look beyond.
What do you think needs to be done in the general election?
-Go to the plain to look for that independent, indecisive citizen. I see many more chances now than in 2015, oddly enough. When people define the choice... I am convinced that we can win in the first round. Because the dynamic that the internal confrontation is taking, because it is no longer an internal one, between the two sectors of Together for Change, does not guarantee that those votes of the PASO will be added in the general election. So the responsible attitude with which we face the PASO is very important. On the other hand, when there is so much bewilderment, unpredictability, let's give demonstrations that bring tranquility. I know people are angry, but we have to do our best. And what people want is for us to agree.
-He is going to be a candidate in a very different situation from 2015, when there was 30% inflation and today there is more than 100%, there were 250 thousand plans and today there are a million and a half. The economic gravity is greater...
-I take charge and without excuses. Nor will I promise magic solutions, we have already seen it. When I hear in the campaign the trap I eliminate it from one day to the next, the withholdings I eliminate ... When I went to Brazil I did not promise anything, and look at the results I obtained.
Why should people believe in a political space that led them to this economic situation, with variables worse than those of Macrismo?
-From experience, because I am predictable, I have the best program, I will take charge without complaints, without blaming anyone. Looking for harmony, the best democratic coexistence, points of agreement. It's my specialty.
Are you analyzing the possibility of lowering your candidacy?
-Not even talked about, at this point it is a decision that I made with all responsibility. Convinced of what he can give the country, of being a generational bridge. And since this year we said democracy forever, let's say development forever. That it is not always to start over. I do not believe myself to be a conservative who leaves everything as it is or a revolutionary who believes that everything that was done is all wrong and that everything must be dynamited and changed.
Interview with Daniel Scioli. Photo: Martín Bonetto.
What weight does Cristina Kirchner's word have? For example, what would you do if she asked you to get off?
She knows I'm the most predictable and reliable person, and she knows me very well. He would never ask me to get off. She is always a driver of participation. Rather than interpreting it, read the words he said: the marshal's cane, work, present a plan.
"But if she asks him?"
- If she asks for it? What if the roof falls? I cannot work on supposed issues that are not going to happen, because she knows very well that my participation in the PASO is of a sense of responsibility, like that of Rossi and that of everyone who wants to participate, which will increase the volume of participation. And he knows that when we open up, we win, and when we close we lose.
Is the Frente de Todos betting that Milei will do well?
I go the other way, and that comes from Lula's teaching. One day he said to me: can you explain the Milei phenomenon to me? I told him that he embodied the anger, the frustration of many young people. "Can you send me a speech from Milei?" he said. So, what you have to do is interpret that electorate, get closer, understand the reasons. I cannot lose sight of what happened in these three and a half years of management. A government program that the president had was dramatically altered by the pandemic, the war, in the lack of energy and foreign exchange, the drought. But the country has what.
Aren't you concerned about Milei's proposal and his denunciation of caste?
I seek to connect with each electorate of each political space. You have Patricia saying 'everything has to be dynamited', 'the change has to be this time', she mentions the word 'order'. And there are also issues that I have on my agenda. Reduction and simplification of taxes, something that is being discussed in Brazil. Or the ordering of the State, but not based on adjustment, but on fiscal balance. You have to get there through growth and not with adjustment. When some propose to eliminate Aerolineas Argentinas, it is not possible to analyze the balance of Aerolineas by the economic result. The impact it has on tourism in the provinces, on inbound tourism... are strategic sectors.
What about inflation?
-It is lowered with fiscal balance via growth, improve expectations, produce more and more by increasing demand through wages, increase reserves, seeking convergence of exchange rates.
How do you see the Larreta-Bullrich fight?
I think they have two visions. I don't like to get into other spaces, but you have Patricia saying that you have to blow everything up, that she has a very drastic commitment to implement a total change; and Horacio is going down another path of achieving consensus, agreements, broadening. The people will democratically order the candidacies. But I don't think the sum will go to the election. And before that we have to show great maturity, that we are going to go well to the PASO, but talking about the future because people are tired of always being told about the past. From Argentina that is coming. When I see that we can fall into these extremes, I have a historic responsibility.
Who is going to be your running mate?
I am thinking of a formula to govern, not thinking only about the conjuncture. He will be someone with great strength and experience in parliamentary agreements, because the vice president presides over the Senate. I have it more and more clear and advanced. But I will wait after the 14th to announce it.
Do you think you can beat Massa, Wado de Pedro or Kicillof in a few PASOs?
I want to beat insecurity, inflation, that wages yield. Mine is not against anyone.
Interview with Daniel Scioli. Photo: Martín Bonetto.
The defeat of 2015 and the Brazilian move
Just two and a half points is what separated Mauricio Macri from Daniel Scioli in the second round of the 2015 presidential election. It was a hard blow to the aspirations of the then governor of Buenos Aires, whose only political obsession had been to reach the Casa Rosada. "I feel that more than what it generated for me, it was what it generated for the country," he says. He points to his resilience, such as when he lost his arm in the Paraná River during an offshore competition. "The sport was forging a personality, victory with humility, defeat with greatness, not denying what happened but trying to be better in the next," he repeats like a mantra. He points to an episode, by way of self-criticism: "A mistake may have been not having participated in the first debate, out of respect for the audience and me." He also admits that "a perception had been installed that if he arrived, he did it conditioned, limited" He alludes, without naming him, to his running mate, Carlos Zannini, imposed by Cristina Kirchner.
Eight years later, he says he became "very pragmatic" because of his experience as ambassador to Brazil. Having recovered the commercial relationship with the neighboring country. It was at a time when Jair Bolsonaro and Alberto Fernández not only did not speak to each other but every so often, poisoned darts were thrown. "Moderation does not mean non-firmness, because I have a great capacity for dialogue and at the moment of truth, I decide," he says. He gives as an example that, upon arriving in Brazil for his diplomatic destination, he spoke with all the former ambassadors, including Diego Guelar and Carlos Magariños, who served under the Macri government. As a corollary, he is preparing a book, "Emotional Diplomacy". "I want to leave testimony of how I changed the commercial imprint," he says.
At the touch
A dream. Development forever in Argentina.
A series. History documentaries.
A meal. Pasta, spaghetti.
A drink. Red wine.
A leader. Juan Domingo Perón.
A hero. Saint Martin.
A memory. My childhood and the accident.
A pleasure. Playing sports. Pope, Futsal or chess.
A sportsman. Messi.
A society you admire. Argentina, for its endurance.