Americas

ARGENTINA

Menem's Legacy

President Carlos Menem, once hailed for bringing stability to Argentina's currency, may be leaving office in December under a cloud, writes Angel Jozami in Madrid's liberal El Pais.

"The world economic crisis unleashed in Asia in 1997, followed by the slumps in Russia and Brazil," had serious effects on Argentina's economy, writes Jozami. Menem's former finance minister, Domingo Cavallo, tied the unstable peso to the dollar and sharply curtailed inflation some years ago. But since then, industrial activity has slumped, and the rising cost of public services has sent the country deeper into debt.

Recent "mini-crises" have raised the question whether Argentina should move away from the U.S. dollar and try a new economic adjustment to reassure foreign investors. For the moment, says Jozami, "no one has the answer."

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