Argentine President Alberto Fernandes, who will hand over power to the rightist Javier Miley on December 10, today attributed the electoral defeat of the ruling party to inflation and questioned the data that more than 40 percent of Argentines live in poverty.
The outgoing center-left president, who in 2019 replaced the right-wing Mauricio Macri, now an ally of Milei, spoke to reporters about his four-year term.
"We lost because obviously the inflation problem was exacerbated by the lack of dollars," Fernandes said, admitting he had not "found an answer to that."
Argentina is experiencing inflation of 143 percent annually in the context of a lack of foreign exchange reserves. That situation led to a significant issuance of money to compensate for the public finance deficit, which fueled a spiral of inflation.
As for poverty in the country, the outgoing president estimated that if 40 percent of Argentines really did live below the poverty line, as statistics show, then the country would "implode."
"I think poverty is poorly measured," he said, adding that there were new jobs during his tenure.
Milei won the November 19 presidential runoff, with 56 percent of the vote to 44 percent for his rival, Economy Minister Sergio Massa, the candidate of the government bloc.