Mauricio Macri

1959 -

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Mauricio Macri (Spanish pronunciation: [mawˈɾisjo ˈmakɾi] ; born 8 February 1959) is an Argentine businessman and politician who served as the President of Argentina from 2015 to 2019. He has been the leader of the Republican Proposal (PRO) party since its founding in 2005. He previously served as 5th Chief of Government of Buenos Aires from 2007 to 2015, and was a member of the Chamber of Deputies representing Buenos Aires from 2005 to 2007. Ideologically, he identifies himself as a liberal and conservative on the Argentine centre-right.Born in Tandil, Macri trained as a civil engineer at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina and attended Columbia University for business school. After embarking on a business career, he was kidnapped in 1991. The experience prompted him to enter politics, after being released by his captors. He served as president of football club Boca Juniors from 1994 to 2007, reestablishing its profitability which raised his public profile. In 2003 he launched the Commitment for Change, eventually developing it into the modern PRO party. Following an unsuccessful bid for Chief of Government of Buenos Aires in 2003, Macri was elected in 2007 and won re-election in 2011. Four years later he was elected president of Argentina in the 2015 general election – the first presidential runoff ballotage in Argentine history. The presidency of Macri focused on reforming the national economy and improving diplomatic relations. He moved from a fixed exchange-rate system to a floating one, and removed taxes on exports and reduced subsidies on energy to reduce the fiscal deficit. He aligned the country with gradualist neoliberalism and re-opened Argentina to international markets by lifting currency controls (which he reinstated shortly before his term ended), restructuring sovereign debt, and pressing free-market solutions. Domestically, he pursued moderate socially liberal policies, and liberalized the energy sector. Macri strongly opposed the government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela for human rights abuses and called for a restoration of democracy in the country. He recognized Juan Guaidó, who was elected President of Venezuela by the National Assembly during the Venezuelan presidential crisis of 2019. Macri improved the relations with the United States and from Mercosur achieved a free trade agreement with the European Union and closer ties with the Pacific Alliance. During the first week in office, Macri annulled the Memorandum of understanding between Argentina and Iran, which would have established a joint investigation into the 1994 bombing with AMIA, a terrorist attack on a Jewish organization for which Argentina blamed Hezbollah and Iran.His legislative pursuits varied in efficacy and received mixed reception from Argentines and globally. His presidency has been praised for leaving a legacy of anti-corruption and increasing Argentina's sovereign marketability, but has been criticized for failing to materially reform the economy, falling short of containing inflation, and building up external debt. Real wages declined during his term in office and a large number of small and medium-sized companies went out of business. In the 2019 general election, he became the first incumbent president in Argentina to lose reelection to a second term and was defeated by Alberto Fernandez. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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