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Sergio Tomás Massa (born 28 April 1972) is an Argentine politician who served as Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers from July 2008 to July 2009. He also served as National Congressman for Buenos Aires Province and in the leader of Renewal Front.

Sergio Massa
Sergio Massa (1).jpg
National Deputy
for Buenos Aires Province
In office
10 December 2013 – 10 December 2017
Mayor of Tigre
In office
24 July 2009 – 25 November 2013
Preceded byJulio Zamora
In office
10 December 2007 – 23 July 2008
Preceded byRicardo Ubieto
Succeeded byJulio Zamora
11th Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers of Argentina
In office
23 July 2008 – 7 July 2009
PresidentCristina Fernández de Kirchner
Preceded byAlberto Fernández
Succeeded byAníbal Fernández
Executive Director of ANSES
In office
23 January 2002 – 10 December 2007
PresidentNéstor Kirchner
Eduardo Duhalde
Preceded byGustavo Macchi
Succeeded byClaudio Moroni
Personal details
Born (1972-04-28) 28 April 1972 (age 47)
San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Political partyRenewal Front (2013-present) Justicialist Party (1995-2013) Union of the Democratic Centre (1989-1995)
Other political
affiliations
Front for Victory (2007-2013) United for a New Alternative (2015-2019) Frente de Todos (2019-present)
Spouse(s)Malena Galmarini
Children2
Alma materUniversity of Belgrano
ProfessionLawyer

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

Massa was born in western Buenos Aires suburb of San Martín,[1] in 1972, to Italian parents from Niscemi, Sicily, and raised in neighboring San Andrés.[2] Attending the School of St. Augustine through grade and secondary school, he enrolled at the University of Belgrano, a private university in the upscale Buenos Aires borough of the same name. Leaving school before completing his law degree studies, he married Malena Galmarini, whose father, Fernando Galmarini, was at the time Secretary of Sports for President Carlos Menem.[2]

He became affiliated to the conservative UCeDé in 1989 as an aide to Alejandro Keck, councilman for the San Martín partido (which includes San Andrés). Massa joined the ruling Justicialist Party in 1995, when the UCeDé endorsed the re-election of President Menem after the latter had sidestepped much of his populist Justicialist Party's platform in favor of a more conservative one. Shortly after a crisis led to President Fernando de la Rúa's December 2001 resignation, the Congress appointed Senator Eduardo Duhalde, a more traditional Peronist than Menem had been. Acquainted with Massa through Restaurant Workers' Union leader Luis Barrionuevo. Duhalde appointed Massa as Director of the ANSeS (Argentina's Social Security administration).[2]

Career in national politicsEdit

The pragmatic Massa ran on President Néstor Kirchner's center-left Front for Victory ticket during the 2005 legislative elections. Securing a seat in the Chamber of Deputies (lower house of Congress), he forfeited it at the behest of the President, who requested that he stay on as Director of ANSeS. Remaining at the post two more years, he oversaw the voluntary conversion of several million private pension accounts to the ANSeS' aegis when this choice was made available in December 2006.[2]

Massa was elected Mayor of the Paraná Delta partido of Tigre in October 2007. Those elections also brought President Néstor Kirchner's wife, Senator Cristina Kirchner, to the Presidency. Enjoying large majorities in Congress, her administration suffered its first major setback when her proposals for higher agricultural export taxes were defeated on July 16, 2008, with Vice President Julio Cobos's surprise, tie-breaking vote against them. The controversy helped lead to the July 23 resignation of Alberto Fernández, the president's Cabinet Chief, and to his replacement with Sergio Massa who, at 36, became the youngest person to hold the influential post since its creation in 1994.[3]

He was persuaded to run as a stand-in candidate (who, after the election, would cede his new seat to a down-ticket name on the party list) for the ruling Front for Victory (FpV) ahead of the June 2009 mid-term elections. Massa, however, enlisted his own candidates - including his wife - for Tigre City Council under his own ticket, and its success in these city council races distanced him from others in the FpV. Massa had, moreover, harbored differences with the president over a number of policies, including the nationalization of loss-producing private pension funds, the use of the INDEC bureau to understate inflation data, and the vast regulatory powers granted to Commerce Secretary Guillermo Moreno.[4] Following the FpV's narrow defeat in the Lower House mid-term races, Massa tendered his resignation to the President, effective July 7. Massa, who appointed the city council president as provisional mayor while he served as the president's cabinet chief, returned to his office of Mayor of Tigre on July 24.[4] He was investigated along with other officials for the illegal retension of "repayments" of nonexistent loans from the pensions of about 17 thousand retired while he was director of the ANSES[5]

In 2010 Massa joined a group of eight Buenos Aires Province mayors in calling for the establishment of local police departments independent of the Provincial Police;[6] this 'Group of 8' had become disaffected to varying degrees with the Kirchner government, and came to view Massa as presidential timber for a future date.[7] He stumbled into controversy, however, when the WikiLeaks disclosures of 2010 mentioned a number of indiscretions on Massa's part during a dinner hosted the previous year at the U.S. Ambassador's Residence. He was said by one of Ambassador Vilma Socorro Martínez's cables to have revealed details about working with former President Néstor Kirchner, stating that he was "a psychopath; a monster whose bully approach to politics shows his sense of inferiority." He reportedly added that the former president "runs the Argentine government" while his wife (the President) "followed orders," and that she "would be better off without him."[8][9] He nevertheless remained allied as a member of the FpV faction and the Cristina Kirchner administration, and was re-elected mayor on the FpV slate with 73% of the vote in 2011.[1]

Polling ahead of the October 2013 mid-term elections gave Massa better prospects running for Congress under the FpV party list than on a separate slate.[10] Upon the filing deadline on June 22, however, Massa ultimately opted to form his own Frente Renovador ('Renewal Front') faction with the support of the 'Group of 8' Buenos Aires Province Mayors and others, notably former Argentine Industrial Union president José Ignacio de Mendiguren (recently an ally of Kirchnerism).[11][12] This split with Kirchner proved successful for Massa as the Renewal Front slate beat the FpV slate in the Buenos Aires province in both the primary and general elections.[13][14] In October 2013, Javier Corradino, president of the Commercial Chamber of Tigre, Adrian Zolezzi, secretary of the same entity, and Santiago Maneiro, secretary of the Commercial Chamber of Pacheco, reported that four of their shops had been closed by Sergio Massa in retaliation for having made a trade agreement with the National Social Security Administration to operate the Argenta card, administered by ANSeS. They denounced the closures as anti-democratic and an act of political persecution towards traders in the municipality. Javier Corradino was expelled from a campaign of Renewal Front's Malena Galmarini, Tigre City Council secretary for health policy and human development, and wife of Sergio Massa.[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Massa: el sub 40 que sobrevivió a WikiLeaks y expande su poder". La Nación.
  2. ^ a b c d "Massa, el ex liberal que reestatizó las jubilaciones". Perfil.
  3. ^ "La crónica de un sí anunciado". Conurbano Online.
  4. ^ a b "Massa vuelve a Tigre, su "patria chica"". Conurbano Online.
  5. ^ http://www.ieco.clarin.com/economia/Indagan-director-ANSeS-fraude-jubilados_0_766723406.html
  6. ^ "Massa se rodea de más intendentes". Clarín.
  7. ^ "Grupo de los Ocho? Massa agazapado y solidaridad con Scioli". Informe Reservado.
  8. ^ US Embassy Buenos Aires. "ARGENTINA: CFK'S FIRST TWO CABINET CHIEFS SAY KIRCHNERS' SHELF-LIFE WILL EXPIRE IN 2011".
  9. ^ "Argentina "surprised" US intelligence gathering was done by diplomatic channels". MercoPress.
  10. ^ "Massa, hiperactivo y equilibrista, no define aún su futuro". La Nación.
  11. ^ "Sergio Massa y su Frente Renovador, un barco al que todos quieren subirse". Política del Sur.
  12. ^ "Massa juega y suma a De Mendiguren y Tundis en su lista". Clarín.
  13. ^ Eliana Raszewski (August 12, 2013). "Ex-Fernandez Ally Massa Wins Argentina Primary Election". Bloomberg.
  14. ^ "Poll setback for Argentine President Cristina Fernandez". BBC. October 28, 2013.
  15. ^ http://www.infonews.com/2013/10/11/politica-102806-massa-clausuro-comercios-por-firmar-acuerdos-con-la-tarjeta-argenta.php
Political offices
Preceded by
Julio Zamora
Mayor of Tigre
24 Jul 2009 – Incumbent
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Alberto Fernández
Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers of Argentina
24 Jul 2008 – 7 Jul 2009
Succeeded by
Aníbal Fernández
Preceded by
Ricardo Ubieto
Mayor of Tigre
10 Dic 2007 – 24 Jul 2008
Succeeded by
Julio Zamora