Internal Trade Secretary Roberto Feletti resigned from his post and left the government, highlighting endemic tensions within the ruling Frente de Todos and strengthening the position of Economy Minister Martín Guzmán.
He will be replaced by Guillermo Hang, a former civil servant and government adviser who currently sits on the board of the Central Bank.
Feletti, 63, announced his decision via a social media post that included a copy of his resignation letter, sent to President Alberto Fernández hours earlier.
“I tendered my resignation as Secretary of Internal Trade. I thank President @alferdez for his confidence, and Ministers Matías Kulfas and Martín Guzmán for their always professional and respectful treatment,” Feletti wrote on Twitter.
He cited as the reason for his decision “differences with the path traced and the economic tools retained”.
The news is a major victory for Guzmán, who has been heavily criticized by Feletti, a Kirchnerite loyalist who oversaw price controls, for his handling of the economy.
This comes just three days after the government announced it was restructuring its economic portfolio, moving the Internal Trade Secretariat from the Ministry of Productive Development to the Ministry of Economy.
Government sources said the move was part of an attempt to “better coordinate macroeconomic policies with microeconomic policies”, although analysts see it as an attempt to weaken Feletti and strengthen Guzmán’s hand.
In his letter of resignation, the outgoing official considered that it was “reasonable” that the head of the economic portfolio should have “the freedom to select officials who share the defined course and the fixed program”.
Feletti, who replaced Paula Español as internal trade secretary on October 9, has publicly criticized Guzmán’s policies and management of the economy on several occasions, criticizing efforts to curb runaway inflation, calling for tighter price controls and demanding increased export duties for the agricultural sector, a move he suggests to “decouple” domestic food prices from international prices, which have risen since the war in Ukraine.
Inflation in April was 6%, with prices up 23.1% in the first four months of the year, according to the national statistics office INDEC.
One of the few Kirchnerite voices on the government’s economic team, Feletti was considered one of the sector’s leading swords in government.
On Monday, he said his decision to resign “opens a new stage” for the government, a stage in which Guzmán can “take charge of economic policy in a comprehensive way, bringing into its orbit price policies and other missions and functions related to the Secretariat.”
A former National Deputy, he was Secretary for Economic Policy and Development Planning during Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s first term as President and Administrative Secretary of the Senate of the Province of Buenos Aires.
Local media reported that Feletti and Guzmán held a private meeting early Monday after the department’s restructuring, but the former decided to resign soon after.
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