Alberto Fernández

Alberto Ángel Fernández is an Argentine politician, lawyer and has been the President of Argentina since 2019.
A member of the Justicialist Party, he was Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers during the entirety of the presidency of Néstor Kirchner and the early months of the presidency of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. He won the 2019 general election with 48% of the vote, defeating incumbent President Mauricio Macri.

Early life and career

Fernández was born in Buenos Aires, son of Celia Pérez and her first husband. Separated from the latter, Celia married Judge Carlos Pelagio Galíndez. Alberto Fernández, who barely knew his biological father, considers Pelagio to be his true father.
Alberto Fernández attended Law School at the University of Buenos Aires. He graduated at the age of 24, and later became a professor of criminal law. He entered public service as an adviser to Deliberative Council of Buenos Aires and the Argentine Chamber of Deputies. He became Deputy Director of Legal Affairs of the Economy Ministry, and in this capacity served as chief Argentine negotiator at the GATT Uruguay Round. Nominated by newly elected President Carlos Menem to serve as National Superintendent for Insurance, served as President of the Latin American Insurance Managers' Association from 1989 to 1992, and co-founded the Insurance Managers International Association. He also served as adviser to Mercosur and ALADI on insurance law, and was involved in insurance and health services companies in the private sector. Fernández was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young People of Argentina in 1992, and was awarded the Millennium Award as one of the nation's Businessmen of the Century, among other recognitions. During this time he became politically close to former Buenos Aires Province Governor Eduardo Duhalde.
and Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana in 2007.
He was elected on 7 June 2000, to the Buenos Aires City Legislature on the conservative Action for the Republic ticket led by former Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo.

Chief of the Cabinet (2003–2008)

He gave up his seat when he was appointed Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers by President Néstor Kirchner upon taking office on 25 May 2003, and retained the same post under Kirchner's wife and successor, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, upon her election in 2007.
A new system of variable taxes on agricultural exports led to the 2008 Argentine government conflict with the agricultural sector, during which Fernández acted as the government's chief negotiator. The negotiations failed, however, and following Vice President Julio Cobos' surprise, tie-breaking vote against the bill in the Senate, Fernández resigned on 23 July 2008.


He was named head of the City of Buenos Aires chapter of the Justicialist Party, but minimized his involvement in Front for Victory campaigns for Congress in 2009. Fernández actively considered seeking the Justicialist Party presidential nomination ahead of the 2011 general elections. He ultimately endorsed President Cristina Kirchner for re-election, however.
He was campaign manager of the presidential candidacy of Sergio Massa in 2015.

Presidential elections

Presidential campaign

On 18 May 2019, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced that Fernández would be a candidate for president, and that she would run for vice president alongside him, hosting his first campaign rally with Santa Cruz Governor Alicia Kirchner, sister-in-law of the former Kirchner.
About a month later, seeking to broaden his appeal to moderates, Fernández struck a deal with Sergio Massa to form an alliance called Frente de Todos, wherein Massa would be offered a role within a potential Fernández administration, or be given a key role within the Chamber of Deputies in exchange for dropping out of the presidential race and offering his support. Fernández also earned the endorsement of the General Confederation of Labor, receiving their support in exchange for promising that he will boost the economy, and that there will be no labor reform.

General elections

On 11 August 2019, Fernández won first place in the 2019 primary elections, earning 47.7% of the vote, compared to incumbent President Mauricio Macri's 31.8%. Fernández thereafter held a press conference where he said he called Macri to say that he would help Macri complete his term and "bring calm to society and markets," and that his economic proposals do not run the risk of defaulting on the national debt.
In the 27 October general election, Fernández won the presidency by attaining 48.1% of the vote to Macri's 40.4%, exceeding the threshold required to win without the need for a ballotage.



Fernández was sworn in on 10 December 2019.


Economic policy

On 14 December, the government established by decree the emergency in occupational matters and double compensation for dismissal without just cause for six months.
His first legislative initiative, the Social Solidarity and Productive Recovery Bill, was passed by Congress on 23 December. The bill includes tax hikes on foreign currency purchases, agricultural exports, wealth, and car sales - as well as tax incentives for production. Amid the worst recession in nearly two decades, it provides a 180-day freeze on utility rates, bonuses for the nation's retirees and Universal Allocation per Child beneficiaries, and food cards to two million of Argentina’s poorest families. It also gave the president additional powers to renegotiate debt terms – with Argentina seeking to restructure its US$100 billion debt with private bondholders and US$45 billion borrowed by Macri from the International Monetary Fund.
Organizations of the agricultural sector, including Sociedad Rural Argentina, CONINAGRO, Argentine Agrarian Federation and Argentine Rural Confederations, rejected the increase in taxes on agricultural exports. Despite these conflicts, Fernández announced the three-point increase in withholding tax on soybeans on the day of the opening of the regular sessions, on 1 March and generated major problems in the relationship between the government and the agricultural sector.
Argentina defaulted again on May 22, 2020 by failing to pay $500 million on its due date to its creditors. Negotiations for the restructuring of $66 billion of its debt continue.
The International Monetary Fund reported that the COVID-19 crisis would plunge Argentina's GDP by 9.9 percent, after the country's economy contracted by 5.4 percent in first quarter of 2020, with unemployment rising over 10.4 percent in the first three months of the year, before the lockdown started.

Social policy

On 31 December, Fernández announced that he will send a bill in 2020 to discuss the legalization of abortion, ratified his support for its approval, and expressed his wish for "sensible debate.”
On 1 March, he also announced a restructuring of the Federal Intelligence Agency, including the publications of its accounts - which had been made secret by Macri in a 2016 decree. The AFI had been criticized for targeting public figures for political purposes.

Foreign relations

His relations are strained with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who refused to attend his inauguration, accusing him of wanting to create a "great Bolivarian homeland" on the border and of preparing to provoke a flight of capital and companies into Brazil. The United States warned him in 2019 saying: "We want to know if Alberto Fernández will be a defender of democracy or an apologist for dictatorships and leaders in the region, whether it be Maduro, Correa or Morales."
Alberto Fernández questioned the results issued by the Organization of American States, where it was established that the reelection of Evo Morales was unconstitutional for electoral fraud. Fernández legitimized Morales as President of Bolivia.

Coronavirus pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fernandez's government announced a country-wide lockdown, in effect from 20 March until 31 March, later extended until 12 April.
Responses to the outbreak have included restrictions on commerce and movement, closure of borders, and the closure of schools and educational institutions. The announcement of the lockdown was generally well received, although there were concerns with its economic impact in the already delicate state of Argentina's economy, with analysts predicting at least 3% GDP decrease in 2020. Fernandez later announced a 700 billion pesos stimulus package, worth 2% of the country's GDP. After announced a mandatory quarantine to every person that returned to Argentina from highly affected countries, the government closed its borders, ports, and suspended flights.
On 23 March, Argentina's president Alberto Fernández asked the president of China, Xi Jinping, for 1,500 ventilators as Argentina had only 8,890 available.
Included in the package was the announcement of a one-time emergency payment of 10,000 pesos to lower-income individuals whose income was affected by the lockdown, including retirees. Because banks were excluded in the list of businesses that were considered essential in Fernandez's lockdown decree, they remained closed until the Central Bank announced banks would open during a weekend starting on 3 April.
Due to Argentina's notoriously low level of banking penetration, many Argentines, particularly retirees, do not possess bank accounts and are used to withdraw funds and pensions in cash. The decision to open banks for only three days on a reduced-hours basis sparked widespread outrage as hundreds of thousands of retirees flocked to bank branches in order to withdraw their monthly pension and emergency payment.
Due to the national lockdown, the economical activity suffered a collapse of nearly 10% in March 2020 according to a consultant firm. The highest drop was of the construction sector versus March 2019. Every economical sector suffered a collapse, with finance, commerce, manufacturing industry and mining being the most affected. The agriculture sector was the least affected, but overall the economic activity for the first trimester of 2020 accumulates a 5% contraction. It is expected that the extension of the lockdown beyond April would increase the collapse of the Argentinian economy. On March, the primary fiscal deficit jumped to US$1,394 million, an 857% increase year-to-year. This was due to the public spending to combat the pandemic and the drop in tax collection due to low activity in a context of social isolation.

Personal life

Fernández married a fellow University of Buenos Aires law student, Marcela Luchetti, in 1993. They separated in 2005. Fernández and Luchetti have a single child, Estanislao, known in Argentina for being a drag performer and cosplayer who goes by the stage name Dyhzy. Fernández is a supporter of Argentinos Juniors' football team.
Since 2014, Fernández has been in a relationship with journalist and stage actress Fabiola Yáñez, who has fulfilled the role of First Lady of Argentina since Fernández's presidency began. The couple own three dogs: Dylan and two of Dylan's puppies, Prócer and Kaila.


National honours