chapter  15
36 Pages

Menem and De la Rúa

Argentina's economic and intellectual establishment, not exactly sympathetic to Peronism, saw Antonio Cafiero as an acceptable candidate for the presidency, but they were scared by Menem who liked to dress and act like Facundo Quiroga, the traditional federal strongman from La Rioja in the times of Rosas. At the beginning of Alfonsín´s government, Menem was the only Peronist that supported Alfonsín in accepting the Pope's decision over the conflict with Chile in the Beagle Channel. Peronism, while the ruling philosophy from 1946 to 1955 and again from 1973 to 1976, had introduced the isolationist and interventionist policies that had brought about Argentina's long-lasting inflationary problem. A comprehensive economic and social reorganization would ensure greater transparency and better planning in the public sector and greater competition and improved performance in the private sector. In April 1991, the IMF still had not given its support to the Convertibility Plan and had not granted Argentina a standby loan.