20 years have passed since his inauguration as Minister of Economy of the Alliance

© Juan Obregón

On March 5, 2001, he assumed Ricardo López Murphy the Ministry of Economy of the government of the alliance, who headed as President of the Nation Fernando de la Rúa.

It was a minister who was appointed despite resistance from Raúl Alfonsín, as head of Radicalism, and of Carlos Chacho Alvarez, vice president and head of Frepaso, for their positions ultra-liberal and orthodox.

Larreta, Vidal, Frigerio, Stolbizer, Lousteau and López Murphy together: “We have to find meeting points”

With the framework of a deepening economic crisis, De la Rúa decided on López Murphy to replace Jose Luis Machinea despite its fiscal vision, close to the financial sectors.

Despite the fact that in 1999, during the electoral campaign, he had already announced that one of the first measures that had to be taken for him and that included reducing 10% of wages, which prevented him from occupying the Ministry of Economy at the beginning of the management of the Alliance.

Ultra-liberal cookbook

His orthodox cookbook listed reduce tax bills, lower wages, retirements, fire public employees and cut health, education and welfare budgets. He also proposed to privatize the companies that were still in the hands of the state.

On March 5, 2001, then-President Fernando de la Rúa appointed López Murphy as Minister of the Economy.

© Provided by Profile
On March 5, 2001, then-President Fernando de la Rúa appointed López Murphy as Minister of the Economy.

His designation was celebrated by the financial world, such as the Banking Association, FIEL (where he was Chief Economic Officer), CEMA, IAEF (Argentine Institute of Finance Executives) and IDEA at that time.

On the day of his assumption, the stock market rose 8%.

But the arrival of López Murphy was not well received by the productive sectors, since they saw in him a representative of the financial speculation and from abandonment of the companies producers of goods.

Voices against

So much so, that given the possible privatization of Banco Nación, the Rural Confederations Argentines stated: “If you do that, we declare war.”

The Argentine Industrial Union (UIA) also expressed its displeasure, through its then president, Osvaldo Rial: “We have had a recession for 32 months and the package will continue the depression in consumption.”

Ricardo López Murphy: “This crisis will be much more serious than that of 2001”

But what produced deep rejection from the opposition and society were the measures announced by López Murphy and which led him to resign on February 19, just 15 days after taking office.

These had already been advanced in his speech when he took office and spoke about an adjustment plan in health, social assistance, regional aid and especially in education and transfers to the provinces.

The last speech

But in his last speech, López Murphy, among other issues, announced that $ 660 million of transfers to the provinces were eliminated. As in 2001 $ 110 million had already been sent, that year $ 550 million would be cut and in 2002 $ 660 million would not be transferred.

The State plant (National administration, Legislative Power and autonomous bodies) was going to be reduced in 40 thousand workers, out of a total of 140 thousand employees.

Despite being both radicals.  Raúl Alfonsín opposed the ultra-liberal ideas of Ricardo López Murphy.

© Provided by Profile
Despite being both radicals. Raúl Alfonsín opposed the ultra-liberal ideas of Ricardo López Murphy.

The university budget it was going to shrink by $ 361 million in 2001 and $ 541 million in 2002. At that time, only the UBA had a budget of $ 305 million, of which 85% went to salaries.

López Murphy proposed to carry out a greater labor flexibility, with the elimination of special statutes, cut $ 17 million from the ANSES.

He also provided a cutout of the retirement system of $ 127 million and that from June 1, 2001, retirees with salaries of more than $ 600 were going to be taken away what they received if they had a job.

Domingo Cavallo succeeded López Murphy.

© Provided by Profile
Domingo Cavallo succeeded López Murphy.

In addition, in family salary a reduction of $ 129 million was going to be made.

He also proposed sell Banco Nación companies: AFJP, Retirement Insurance and Life Insurance. And it granted private parties the exploitation of the National Lottery and the Casa de la Moneda, with the possibility of their privatization.

This orthodox and ultra-liberal position caused deep social unrest that led to the resignation of López Murphy, who was Minister of the Economy for just 15 days. It happened Domingo Cavallo.

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