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The first presidential debate in the face of the October 27 elections in Argentina came with surprise: Alberto Fernández, the Peronist candidate, left the expected script and harshly attacked Mauricio Macri, current president and candidate for reelection.

Fernandez took 16 points ahead of Macri in the August primary elections. With that mattress was not expected to start a melee that always hides risks, but that was what Fernandez did from the first moment of the debate held on Sunday night at the National University of the Coast, in the city of Santa Fe .

"Four years ago someone lied a lot and another told the truth," Fernandez said in reference to the 2015 debate, in which Macri imposed himself on the Peronist candidate of that time, Daniel Scioli, present on Sunday night in Santa Fe. " who lied today is president, and the one who told the truth is sitting here in the front row, "said Fernandez.

In addition to Macri and Fernández, the debate included progressive Roberto Lavagna, third in the primary, leftist Nicolás Del Caño, liberal José Luis Espert and conservative Juan José Gómez Centurión. With the times of intervention strictly assessed and without the possibility of direct dialogue between the candidates, the debate - for the first time obligatory in Argentina - was, however, reasonably entertaining.

Successful Minister of Economy of Eduardo Duhalde and Néstor Kirchne r, Lavagna disappointed, with a tone between gloomy and boring, without strength. Gómez Centurión was the object of many of the jokes on social networks, because more than once he kept the word in his mouth at the expiration of the time he had to speak. Del Caño and Espert, on the other hand, fulfilled what their voters expected of them.

According to a survey published by the TN news channel , 32% of respondents considered that Macri won the debate, against 27% who saw Fernández triumphant. The University of Buenos Aires (UBA) will host next Sunday of the second debate. If the election comes to a ballot - second round - on November 24 there will be a third debate before.

Days ago, Macri decided to recognize Juan Guaidó's ambassador as the only representative of Venezuela in Argentina and decided that the diplomats sent by Maduro should leave the country. Venezuela was one of the most contrasting moments of the debate, with Macri clearly attacking the Peronist candidate: "The (former) president (Cristina) Kirchner decorated the dictator (Nicolás) Maduro. Either it is with the dictatorship or it is with the democracy. Neutrality is being with the dictatorship. "

Speaking of "neutrality," Macri pointed to Fernandez, who again avoided defining Maduro as a dictator: "Venezuela has problems, more problems Venezuelans have, and more problems Venezuelans living in Argentina. I hope, president, than any Argentine soldier I ended up in Venezuelan land. "

The economy was also the subject of a hard exchange of accusations. "I am still amazed, what country does Macri live in?" Said Fernandez. "The dollars of the (IMF) loan were taken by his friends, president," he said to the head of state, who took the challenge.

"We are better, we are at a starting point to start. To grow," said Macri, who in his last year and a half of government faced successive mega-devaluations of the peso and did not find how to control a strong regrowth of inflation that resulted in a shocking Poverty growth in the country.

"I want to be very clear," he added. "Two out of every three pesos we took from debt was to pay off previous government debt. The remaining peso was to finance the fiscal deficit." And, immediately, he recalled Fernandez's criticism of former President Kirchner years ago. The former head of state accompanies Fernández in the formula as a candidate for vice. "You said President Kirchner destroyed the economy. And she said much worse things. Let's tell people the truth."

In that same intervention, Macri gave a clue as to what he will focus on in the next debate: "I am glad that the Frente de Todos (the electoral brand of Peronism) speaks of corruption. We will have a lot to talk about in the next debate."

The current president defended the agreement closed in June between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur: "I don't know why the other candidates insist on not recognizing, an agreement that allows us to access a market of 500 million consumers." Fernández defended another vision: "Globalization has come to stay, but it does not force us to be on our knees. They never let us know the fine print of that agreement. France, Ireland, Austria reject that agreement. I am not afraid of opening , but I will not allow the opening to take place (destroy) our industry. "

The Peronist candidate, former chief of staff (a kind of prime minister) of Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, insisted on showing Macri as a president who does not understand the society he governs, while the president closed the debate by linking Fernandez with the authoritarian image that part of the Argentines have of Cristina Kirchner: "The accusing finger returned."

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  • Venezuela
  • Daniel Scioli
  • IMF
  • Mercosur
  • Mauricio Macri
  • Argentina Elections
  • Argentina
  • international

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