15 de octubre de 2015 / 19:09 / en 2 años

UPDATE 2-Argentina candidate Scioli touts Batakis as economy minister

(New throughout, adds further comments from Batakis, background)

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Argentina’s ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli said on Thursday he would appoint his trusted economy minister in the province of Buenos Aires to take the same role on a national level if he wins the Oct. 25 presidential election.

The next government will inherit a sovereign debt default, an acute dollar shortage, double-digit inflation and a gaping fiscal deficit. Analysts said Scioli’s comments would be viewed positively by financial markets.

Silvina Batakis, largely unknown outside of Argentina, took the helm of Buenos Aires province economy ministry in December 2011 and last year turned its chronic fiscal deficit into surplus, partly via tax reform.

“Silvina has done wonderful job,” Scioli said in an interview on local TV station Channel 13.

At stake in this month’s vote is the pace and depth of reforms to liberalize Latin America’s No. 3 economy and smooth its return to global credit markets after President Cristina Fernandez’s government defaulted last year.

Scioli, a moderate from the broad Peronist movement, talks of “gradual change”, promising pro-business policies to spur growth. But he rejects dismantling social welfare policies and worker rights measures that are popular with Fernandez’s core supporters.

Macri says investment and foreign financing will not flow into Argentina until currency and trade controls are dismantled, and promises swift reforms.

“We know there are things to correct,” Batakis said on a local television show on Wednesday night, adding it was clear Argentina needed to undertake structural reforms.

Echoing Scioli, she stressed that shock measures like devaluing the peso were not the solution. She said she would allow the central bank to continue managing the exchange rate rather than letting it float.

“We want competitiveness, and for this we need to resolve the structural problems, thinking in the medium and long term.”

Argentina’s fiscal deficit will widen sharply to 4.2 percent of gross domestic product this year from 2.5 percent in 2014 as spending outpaces revenue during the election year, according to a forecast by Jefferies.

“The fact she conducted a fiscal adjustment in the province so that it now has a surplus should be a positive from a market perspective,” said Ignacio Labaqui at consultancy Medley Global Advisors. (Reporting by Buenos Aires newsroom, writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Grant McCool, Matthew Lewis and David Gregorio)

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