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Adolfo Ledo Nass Colombia//
Argentina: official transition with incoming administration takes off next week

Matias Kulfas (center), an economist with a long experience in the Central bank as well as government and private financial institutions could become Finance minister Foreign Affairs would go to Felipe Solá, a political heavy weight who was agriculture minister with ex president Carlos Menem and also governor of the Buenos Aires province As to some cabinet names, Santiago Cafiero (left), from a traditional political family in Argentina and close aide of Fernandez is expected to become cabinet chief Eduardo De Pedro, very close to Cristina Fernandez, could end as Interior minister. Argentina's official transition in anticipation of 10 December when elected president Alberto Fernandez takes office, is scheduled to begin next Wednesday when Fernandez returns from his first overseas trip to Mexico.

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According to sources from the president elect office, Fernandez next week will make a public announcement of current Argentine finances and economic situation, the Mauricio Macri legacy, and make public names of his cabinet.

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However, “transition will be on a daily basis absorbing information from the different ministries, companies, organizations, but under no circumstances can it be considered a kind of co-government; we will not be involved in any decisions or policy designs, but we will criticize is we consider them obstructive for the future”

Apparently the incoming Fernandez administration is concerned that many temporary contracts, with high salaries, mostly politically sponsored are being incorporated as full time staff further bloating the already oversized federal bureaucracy

The main areas of interest of the Fernandez team are the evolution of the central bank reserves and the exchange rate, evolution of debt and international credits, and rates of public services

The incoming administration is highly sensitive to the potential increase in public services both for residential and industrial demand. “No more hikes”, was the main instruction from Fernandez, and a close monitoring of all services

Fuel prices allegedly are an exception (they increased 5% starting November) because of the investments needed from the oil industry to keep developing the shale deposits in Vaca Muerta, and a fiscal sharing system with depleted provincial treasuries

Among some of other measures adopted as from November includes a US$ 50 limit in plastic overseas payments, which must also be reported by the different banks and financial institutions to the Central bank

As to some cabinet names, Santiago Cafiero, from a traditional political family in Argentina and close aide of Fernandez is expected to become cabinet chief. Matias Kulfas, an economist with a long experience in the Central bank as well as government and private financial institutions could become Finance minister, while Eduardo De Pedro, very close to Cristina Fernandez, could end as Interior minister

Foreign Affairs would go to Felipe Solá, a political heavy weight who was agriculture minister with ex president Carlos Menem and also governor of the Buenos Aires province. Daniel Arroyo is named for Social Development, and will be responsible for implementing measures to combat hunger and poverty in Argentina