Following a painful 2018 that left Argentina in recession and forced into unpopular austerity measures, President Mauricio Macri faces an uphill battle in his bid for re-election in October. But while the statistics from his “annus horribilis” make grim reading — inflation initially calculated at 10 percent finished the year at 48 percent while an economy expected to grow by 3.5 percent shrunk by 2.7 percent, according to the World Bank — if he manages to stabilize the economy, he has a chance. Macri has a lot of ground to make up: his approval rating crashed from 66 percent in October 2017 to just 35 percent last month, according to a poll by the San Andres University. A lot of people will need convincing that he could bring stability, and even prosperity, if afforded a second term in office. “I think Argentines will choose the most extensive path: the one of efforts, truth, the long term, joint construction. We’re tackling the enormous task of turning the corner on 70 years of taking shortcuts,” wrote Macri in a New Year’s message. His aim is to slow down inflation to arrive at October’s elections with a brighter outlook. Published in Daily Times, January 13th 2019.