Argentina’s Macri Promises to Turn Around Presidential Race

(Bloomberg) -- Chanting “Yes, we can!” along with thousands of supporters, Argentine President Mauricio Macri pledged to lift salaries and economic growth as he began a final bid to come back in the polls ahead of a presidential vote next month where his chances of victory have been largely written off.

“This election can be turned around,” Macri told the crowd gathered in the Belgrano neighborhood of Buenos Aires on Saturday, in video broadcast by local media. The rally marked the start of a national campaign tour ahead of the Oct. 27 vote.

Argentina’s Macri Promises to Turn Around Presidential Race

Macri alluded to the pain suffered by Argentina’s middle class from austerity measures he implemented to secure a credit line with the International Monetary Fund. He called for continued support for pro-market reforms and promised to bring economic growth and higher salaries to the country.

Macri suffered a stunning defeat in primary elections in August from leftist candidate Alberto Fernandez, whose surge in the polls sparked a sell-off of Argentine bonds and the peso, on concerns that a populist turn could unwind economic reforms and push the country toward default.

At a campaign event in the northwestern city of Salta on the same day, Fernandez blamed Macri for sinking the country into a recession.

“All he did was plunge Argentines into poverty,” Fernandez said, website La Nacion reported. “They came to end the default, and they leave us with default.”

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