Mauricio Macri

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Mauricio Macri
Mauricio Macri Foto de Prensa2.jpg
5th Chief of Government of the City of Buenos Aires
Incumbent
Assumed office
December 10, 2007
Governor Marta Gabriela Michetti (until 2009)
Preceded by Jorge Telerman
Personal details
Born (1959-02-08) February 8, 1959 (age 55)
Tandil, Buenos Aires
Political party Propuesta Republicana (PRO)
Profession Civil Engineer
Website Official Site

Mauricio Macri (Spanish pronunciation: [mauˈɾisjo ˈmakɾi]; born 8 February 1959) is an Argentine businessman and politician, and Head of Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. Son of Francisco Macri, a prominent Italian businessman in the industrial and construction sectors, he represented the City of Buenos Aires in the Lower House of Congress and has held his current office since 10 December 2007.

He was considered a potential candidate for the 2011 general elections, but declined to run for the presidency of the country but ran instead for reelection as mayor. He got nearly 47% of the vote in the mayoral election, leading to a runoff vote on 31 July 2011 against candidate Daniel Filmus.

Biography

Mauricio Macri was born in Tandil, in the province of Buenos Aires, son of the Italian–born tycoon Francesco Macri and Alicia Blanco Villegas, a woman of Spanish descent. Macri studied at the Catholic University of Argentina (UCA), where he received a degree in Civil Engineering. In 1985, he also attended short courses at Columbia Business School, Wharton Business School and the local Universidad del CEMA.[1]

His professional experience started in SIDECO Americana S.A., a construction company belonging to his father's holding company, the Socma Group, where we worked for 3 years as Junior Analyst, later becoming a Senior Analyst. In 1984, he worked in the credit department of Citibank Argentina, in Buenos Aires. He joined Socma the same year, and from 1985 onward he served as General Manager. In 1992 he became the vice president of Sevel (then manufacturing Fiat and Peugeot automobiles under licence in Argentina, and part of Socma), climbing to the presidency in 1994.[1]

In 1991, he was kidnapped for 12 days by officers of the Argentine Federal Police, and then freed after his family reportedly paid a multi-million dollar ransom.[2] He has since said that during the ordeal, he decided to enter politics.[3]

He gained recognition as president of one of the most popular football clubs in Argentina, Boca Juniors. He was elected in 1995 and reelected in 1999 and 2003, to complete one of the most successful periods of the club, winning several international competitions.

Political career

Macri shaking hands with Pope Francis at the papal inauguration

In 2003 Macri made his political debut when he founded the centre-right party Compromiso para el Cambio (Commitment to Change),[4] and later that year he ran for mayor of the City of Buenos Aires for his party. He won the first round of the election with 33.9% but lost the runoff election with 47% of the vote to his opponent Aníbal Ibarra.

In 2005, he joined Ricardo López Murphy of Recrear to create a right-wing electoral front called Propuesta Republicana (a.k.a. PRO [5]) and successfully ran in the City of Buenos Aires for the Argentine Chamber of Deputies where he won with 33.9% of the votes.[6] Throughout 2006 he alternated his political activities as deputy with his presidency of the soccer club Boca Juniors. During that year he was absent from 70% of the polls at the Chamber of Deputies, something for which he was later widely criticized, to which he answered he didn't attend because the Congress "is a place where ideas are not debated".[7]

In 2007 Macri was in discussions with right-conservative Jorge Sobisch,[8] governor of Neuquén Province, ahead of the 2007 national elections. However, this agreement was in conflict with the previous alliance with Ricardo López Murphy who had decided to run for the presidency and had denounced Sobisch for corruption, providing as proof a video where Sobisch was bribing Jorge Taylor, deputy of the Radical party. Later that year, Sobisch's image was severely damaged when the school teacher Carlos Fuentealba was killed during a syndical demonstration in Neuquén. In front of this situation, Macri immediately defused his agreements with Sobisch and remained neutral during the national elections of 2007.[9]

In February 2007 Macri announced that he would run once again for the mayoral elections of the City of Buenos Aires in the 2007, heading the PRO slate with Gabriela Michetti as his running mate. In the first round of the election on June 2, 2007 he won with 45.6% of votes over the government-backed candidate, Daniel Filmus, who received 23.8% of votes. The incumbent Jorge Telerman, came in third place. The runoff election between Macri and Filmus took place on June 24, 2007, and resulted in Macri's victory with 60.96% of the votes. [10][11]

Macri's victory was largely analyzed as a defeat for President Néstor Kirchner and turned the elected mayor into de facto leader of the right-wing opposition, which has remained fractured after the Argentine political crisis of late 2001.[12] The perceived blow to Kirchner's political support was reinforced by the provincial elections on Tierra del Fuego, which took place on the same day, where another candidate backed by the national government lost to ARI's Fabiana Ríos.

Mauricio Macri made an alliance for the 2009 elections with Francisco de Narváez and Felipe Solá. The alliance was successful, as De Narvaez defeated Kirchner in the Buenos Aires province and Gabriela Michetti, Macri's candidate, won the elections in the city of Buenos Aires. Macri was thus considered as a likely candidate to dispute the presidency in the 2011 elections. However, the death of Néstor Kirchner improved the image of Cristina Kirchner, and the opposition fragmented into several candidacies. Macri proposed to organize a great opposition front to run against Kirchner, but was unsuccessful.

In 2011, instead of running for the presidency, he ran for his reelection as mayor. He won the first rounds of the election on July 10, 2011, with 47.08% of votes against Filmus with 27.78% and Fernando "Pino" Solanas as main rivals, and won the runoff against Filmus again on July 31, now with 64.25% of the votes. [13]

Current administration

Union conflicts

One of the first administrative decisions taken by his government was to fire 2400 city employees under contract, whose contracts were not renewed, claiming that they were "ñoquis" (employees who receive a salary but do little or no work, a term derived from the Argentine tradition of eating gnocchi on the 29th of each month, around the time of pay day). This action caused conflicts with the city unions which were followed up by strikes of the SUTECBA-CGT and ATE-CTA unions. In response to the strike, Macri administratively intervened the medical security organization of the city workers which depends on the unions.[14]

Metropolitan police

The main police force which acts in the city is the Argentine Federal Police. The city, being a capital district until 1994 when a new National Constitution was sanctioned, did not elect the mayor who by then was appointed by the president. When in 1996 the new City Constitution was created, a national law was passed, known as "Cafiero Law", which kept the Federal Police control for the Ministry of Justice of the National Government. Since then this lack of control of any police force by the mayor, has been a persistent problem between the city and the federal government. After several months of negotiations with the National Government, they did not arrive at any agreement, and on March 2008, Macri announced he would create a new Metropolitan Police force under his control. On October 28, 2008, the law was sanctioned by the Legislature of Buenos Aires. Initially it would have approximately 1000 effectives and it should start working by the end of 2009.[15] The situations in which this police force would be allowed to act are yet to be determined by an agreement with the National Government, but in principle it would be allowed to act in evictions and traffic blocking protests.[16] The first chief of the Metropolitan Police, Jorge Alberto "Fino" Palacios was forced to resign on August 25, 2009 after an important public resistance,[17][18] due to an ongoing investigation about his involvement in the AMIA bombing of 1994, his successor was his second in command, Osvaldo Chamorro.[19]

Spy scandal

In October 2009, Sergio Burnstein, one of the leaders of the Jewish community who had led the opposition against the appointment of Fino Palacios as Chief of Police (because of his connections with the terrorist attack on the AMIA), announced in court that he was being spied on by the Police of the City of Buenos Aires.[20] Shortly thereafter, the Chief Justice concluded that Burnstein was, in fact, being spied upon by a group that involved Fino and his successor Osvaldo Palacios Chamorro, a federal police lawyer who worked for the Ministry of Education of Buenos Aires (Ciro James), two judges of the Province of Misiones, among others.[20]

The investigation revealed that the spying included opposition leaders and even leaders from Macri's own party as well as businessmen, trade unionists and their families between the Head of Government, as the spies had illegally tapped the phone of his brother-in-law, a parapsychologist who had been threatened by Macri's father, industrialist Franco Macri. In December 2009 Fino Palacios, Osvaldo Chamorro and Ciro James were arrested for this incident.

References

  1. ^ a b Mauricio Macri's curriculum vitae PDF
  2. ^ "''Río Negro'': Detuvieron a ex comisario por el secuestro de Macri". Rionegro.com.ar. Retrieved 2012-07-31.  (Spanish)
  3. ^ Faries, Bill (2007-06-25). "June 25, 2007 - Kirchner's Argentina Electoral Losses Fuel Opposition". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  4. ^ Murphy, Martin (2007-06-25). "Americas | Profile: Mauricio Macri". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  5. ^ "Official website of Pro". Pro.com.ar. 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  6. ^ "Macri's profile". Terra.com.ar. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  7. ^ "Página/12 :: El país :: Macri y Storani entre los que tienen más ausencias en Diputados". Pagina12.com.ar. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  8. ^ "Macri y Sobisch unen fuerzas con la vista puesta en el 2007". Clarin.com. 2005-03-16. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  9. ^ "Macri volvió a tomar distancia del gobernador Jorge Sobisch - lanacion.com". Lanacion.com.ar. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  10. ^ Bloomberg.com, June 4, 2007. Macri Expects Run-Off Election Win After First Round Victory.
  11. ^ BBC News, June 25, 2007. Profile: Mauricio Macri.
  12. ^ Bloomberg.com, June 25, 2007. Kirchner's Argentina Electoral Losses Fuel Opposition.
  13. ^ lanacion.com, July 31, 2011. estableció un nuevo récord en la ciudad
  14. ^ [1] Clarín newspaper, 28 December 2007 (Spanish).
  15. ^ [2] Clarín newspaper, 29 October 2008 (Spanish)
  16. ^ [3] Clarín newspaper, 30 October 2008 (Spanish)
  17. ^ [4] TELAM: AMIA Victims' relatives demanded Justice and "Fino" Palacios' resignation
  18. ^ [5] Buenos Aires Herald: Opposition begins campaign to remove Jorge Palacios from Metropolitan Police
  19. ^ [6] Clarín newspaper, 26 August 2009 (Spanish)
  20. ^ a b Quién es Ciro James, el policía que espiaba... ¿para Macri? (Who is Ciro James, the policeman who spy... for Macri?), Terra.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Jorge Telerman
Chief of Government of Buenos Aires City
2007–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent