Macri set to take office in divided Argentina

Dec 10, 2015, 3:42 AM EST
Source: Mariana Sapriza/flickr
Source: Mariana Sapriza/flickr

Mauricio Macri is due to take over as president of Argentina, promising to exploit its vast natural resources and to abandon his predecessor's policies to revive an economy.

Al Jazeera reports:

If Macri, who will be sworn in at midday on Thursday, gets it right, investment could stream into Latin America's third-largest economy, given its pampas grains belt, promising technology sector, highly educated workforce and some of the world's richest shale oil deposits. Macri is expected to face many challenges including the turbulent state of the economy. He has pledged to kick-start the economy by ending protectionist import restrictions, cutting heavy taxes on agricultural exports and scrapping the official exchange rate propping up the Argentine peso.

Meanwhile, Argentina's outgoing President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has made an emotional farewell speech to supporters in Buenos Aires. The BBC writes:

She urged people to take to the streets if they felt betrayed by the new centre-right government.Fernandez is to skip Thursday's swearing-in after she and Macri became embroiled in a row over the ceremony's location. She insisted the handover took place in Congress, while Macri wanted it to happen at the presidential palace. Macri sought a court injunction affirming that Fernandez's term ended at midnight on Wednesday to settle the matter. During her speech, Fernandez joked: "I can't talk much because after midnight I'll turn into a pumpkin." Power will be temporarily transferred to the new president by Senate Speaker Federico Pinedo, who will act as head of state for 12 hours.