Macri and Larreta, during a meeting of the Buenos Aires cabinet

The ex-president Mauricio Macri took advantage of a meeting with bishops from Buenos Aires Horacio Rodriguez Larreta Y Diego Santilli in the Japanese Garden to mark the field for their Pro partners who seek to incorporate in the province of Buenos Aires sectors of Peronism that are disenchanted with the Frente de Todos to broaden the electoral base of Together for Change with a view to 2023. Although it coincided with the need to expand the main opposition coalition, Macri warned about the risk of incorporating leaders who had a past in Kirchnerism. In order to preserve the essence and “values” of Pro, the former president asked to avoid piling up in space and shield himself from potential PJ infiltrators on the lists.

Territorial leaders of Pro who leverage Larreta’s presidential project and support Santilli’s candidacy for governor of Buenos Aires listened to him in a room in the Palermo neighborhood. In the group that met with the former president were Ramiro Tagliaferro (Hummock), Martin Molina (Quilmes), Paul Alaniz (Florence Varela), Lucas Delfino (hurlingham), Ezekiel Pazos (Jose C. Paz), Evert VanTooren (Esteban Echeverria) and William Vinuales (Lomas de zamora).

Escorted by the former Secretary General of the Presidency Ferdinand de Andreis and the Buenos Aires legislator Dario Grandsonthe founder of Pro asked them to be cautious when adding leaders to Together for Change. He painted a gloomy picture of the economic situation and insisted that the opposition conglomerate is facing a great opportunity in next year’s elections to win in districts governed by Peronism. He even told them that adventure that there will be one “second wave of change” in 2023. And he stressed that he notices a greater receptivity in society to face fund reforms in the economy, after the “lousy” management of the Front of All.

For this reason, Macri insists that the Pro must not neglect his identity and political physiognomy in front of his voters. Yesterday, he spoke of incorporating leaders who share the “values” of Pro. Those who frequent him comment that he intends to prevent infiltrators from joining the lists of Together: “You can’t join just anyone, but people committed to our ideas and who bring freshness , not pancakes that can change sides”, they point out near the former president.

Until the end of his term, Macri resisted incorporating Peronists into his government. The turnaround came in June 2019, when he proposed to Miguel Angel Picketto to accompany him in the presidential ticket. Now, the exmandatario exhibits a greater openness to increase the electoral capacity of JxC. But he has some objections. For instance, he does not agree with dividing up the cabinet, as Larreta proposes to give sustainability to an economic program.

The meeting between Macri and the territorialists of Larretismo was conceived after the tensions generated in Pro una “peronist rock” organized days ago by Florence Casamiquelexalted from Florence Randazzo and brand new incorporation of the Santilli team. The rally, which took place last week at the Darling Tennis Club, was attended by Molina, Alaniz, Delfino and Viñuales, among others, and had the former governor of Salta Juan Manuel Urtubey, former running mate Roberto Lavagna, as a guest speaker. The objective of these summits is to attract PJ leaders who were part of the “third way” to Larretismo, a sector that does not agree with Kirchnerism or Macrismo. They bet on that space Serge Massa in 2015 and 2017, before returning to Peronism, Robert Lavagna or Randazzo.

Macri and Larreta, during a meeting of the Buenos Aires cabinetPress: GCBA

Faced with reports that critics of Macri’s efforts were heard at the meeting and Maria Eugenia Vidalthe head of the macrismo block in Deputies, Christian Ritondowent out to defend the former president and the former governor with sharp tweets that fueled tensions on the Buenos Aires Pro board. From the surroundings of Larreta and Santilli they categorically denied that the “peronist rock” has been crossed by questions to Macri and Vidal.

Immediately, Pro leaders who had attended the conclave at the Darling Tennis Club contacted Macri to give him explanations. “This did not exist, nobody criticized you,” they clarified. After these communications, they agreed to a meeting in the Japanese Garden to talk about the territorial construction of Pro in the suburbs.

Macri, Pro sources who participated in the meeting in Palermo agree, relativized the controversy surrounding the “Peña Peronista” and asked them to focus on putting together government plans for the municipalities. That yes, he slipped that they had to be prudent at the moment of incorporating leaders to the force. For example, he pondered the contribution of Viñuales, former chief of staff of Martín Insaurralde in Lomas de Zamora, to Together for Change. “He seems like a valuable leader,” they say in Macri’s environment. Several witnesses told Viñuales that he contrasted it with the case of Pablo Paladino, a member of Hace, a group that they put together Nestor Grindetti (Lanus) and Julius Garro (La Plata) to recruit Peronists from the province who do not agree with Kirchnerism but do not feel comfortable in the ranks of Pro either. Hannibal Fernandez.

Macri's meeting with deputies from Pro
Macri’s meeting with deputies from Pro

During the meeting, the locals ratified before Macri their support for the Larreta and Santilli project. At the same time, they complained about the incursions that Patricia Bullrichopponent of the mayor of Buenos Aires in the internal Pro for the presidential candidacy, in Hurlingham and Morón without notifying Delfino and Tagliaferro, referents of Pro in those districts.

Strictly speaking, they warned about the disorder that the internal dispute between Larreta and Bullrich for the presidential candidacy provokes in the Buenos Aires opposition chess. According to the story of several of the attendees, Macri urged them to get used to the new dynamics of the space and reiterated that the applications could be defined in the primaries in case there is no agreement. “He told us that if there is a PASS, it is not serious”, assured one of the Pro bishops who participated in the meeting.

During the last hours, the former president was critical of the landing of Serge Massa in the Ministry of Economy, not only because of the staging of the swearing-in as head of the Palacio de Hacienda, but also because of the lack of a stabilization program. “The crisis is going to deepen”ventured into Macri’s environment after Massa’s announcements.

Yesterday, Macri continued with his meeting raid. He shared a private lunch with businessmen and former students of Colegio Cardenal Newman, where he studied. Before some 150 people, the former president made an analysis of the national political scene and the current situation of the opposition. He remarked that, in the event that he manages to return to power, Together for Change will arrive better “prepared” than in 2015 to govern, when he recognized that the coalition did not have a consensual program. In fact, he recalled the discussions with his partners from the UCR and the CC about the rate increases. He said that he now noticed a greater inner awareness among his allies. When asked if he would be willing to run for president again in 2023, he replied: “Sometimes yes sometimes no”.

Macri today toured the town of San Miguel accompanied by the local mayor, Jaime Mendezand the provincial senator of Together, Joaquin de la Torre. In a new incursion through the Buenos Aires suburbs -he was already in Lanús and Ituzaingó-, the former president walked a few blocks through a commercial area and visited the Municipal Operations Center (COM), to learn about the district’s security system.

As soon as the tour ended, De la Torre, former minister of María Eugenia Vidal and an ally of Facundo Manes in the last legislative elections, expressed his support for Macri’s eventual candidacy for president in 2023. He had done the same thing a couple of months ago. Nestor Grindetti, mayor of Lanús, another opponent of the Larretismo project in Buenos Aires. “Today more than ever Argentina needs order in the accounts and on the street. I believe that Macri is the most qualified to reverse this crisis that our country is experiencing.” assured the senator, who aspires to compete as a candidate for governor of Buenos Aires in the next elections.

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