Argentine election candidates plan to unwind president's policies
By Eliana Raszewski and Sarah Marsh
BUENOS AIRES, June 1 (Reuters) - All three of the leading candidates in Argentina's election race plan to dismantle outgoing President Cristina Fernandez's web of currency and trade controls and clean up government finances to boost the stagnating economy.
Fernandez has ramped up state intervention in the economy during her eight years in power, trying to shore up thinning currency reserves while financing generous subsidies and welfare programs.
The economy grew quickly in the first years of her presidency but it is now teetering on the brink of recession. The currency has slumped on the black market and inflation is running at about 25 percent, according to private estimates.
Economic advisers to the main candidates in the October election told Reuters they plan to liberalize the dollar exchange rate, cut taxes on lucrative grains exports, and move to plug a fiscal deficit and tame inflation.
The consensus on the need for policy changes could further encourage investors who have driven a rally in Argentina's bond and equity markets this year and renewed interest from hedge funds in the country.
The campaign teams differ, however, on the pace and depth of reform.
Mauricio Macri, the pro-business opposition mayor of Buenos Aires who is running a close second place in polls, promises swift changes to win back investor confidence.
Daniel Scioli, the frontrunner for the leftist ruling party's ticket, is more cautious as he targets votes from the Fernandez faithful as well as swing voters opposed to her policies. Continuación...