A difficult start, then relief
The most awaited day by the Government began with a shock of proportions, but it was not the prelude to a difficult couple of days, just an awkward beginning for a summit that in some sense exceeded expectations.
Right at the beginning Mauricio Macri perceived first hand how difficult it is to be friends with everyone and to try to benefit from powers that are at war, even if it is a commercial war The world has become a much more hostile and unstable place than he imagined when he took office and he found that it is not easy to leave without scratches, or avoid setbacks. Even old friends can not be trusted.
The Casa Rosada was left unsettled for several hours by the statement issued by the Donald Trump administration, after the meeting with Macri. In it, the White House stated that the presidents had agreed on the need to address issues such as Venezuela and "China's predatory economic activity." However, after a couple the day was on track on a much more auspicious road.
The deliberations of the summit, led by Macri, the bilateral meetings and the street protests took place on an almost ideal level. And the organization did not fail. The slip in the reception of Emmanuel Macron quickly passed into oblivion. The Government considers that it has reasons to celebrate.
From the uncomfortable moment in which the communications team of the President of the United States left it exposed, the Government tried to detach itself with speed and prudence (for some, excessive). But it took more than seven hours to offer a specific definition. It was not an easy beginning for a country with surplus of fragility and dependence.
Trump often abuses his power and enjoys his unpredictability, and he did so taking advantage in this case of his status as sponsor of the IMF emergency loan that took the Government out of a critical situation. China is a "strategic integral partner" of Argentina and its leader, Xi Jinping , is on a state visit to sign more than 30 agreements of all kinds, underlined the Argentine ambassador in Beijing, Diego Guelar. Explicit as few.
The unprecedented tremor, which was felt in some areas of the city just as the world leaders headed to the convention center for the inauguration of the summit, set loose all sorts of conjectures. False alarm. Maybe those shocks and the lack of gymnastics in the role weighed heavily on Macri as "chair" of the summit. According to witnesses of the meeting held at hermetically closed doors, after that everything began to flow and the President seemed to enjoy his place as referee and broker of leaders much more powerful than him.
Macri also had to overcome uncomfortable situations, such as the provocative greeting that Vladimir Putin gave to the Saudi prince Mohammed ben Salman , accused of committing war crimes and of being the mastermind of the murder of The Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
Trade and the environmental issues remain the most complex challenges. The last one, above all. Minister Bergman made this explicit during his presentation at the press center. And it is even rumored that it could be left out of the pronouncement. Very worrying for the future of the planet.
As for trade, almost everything is tied to the dispute between China and the US. In that field, Macri probably gave Trump back some of his medicine with his opening speech. He ratified his commitment to multilateralism and strongly defended the global exchange of goods and services. He also appealed to dialogue, without metaphors. It was a speech tailored for Macri, succinct and concrete, effective but not enough to unleash passion.
In relation to the bilateral meetings, there is a commitment to increase trade and investment from both the United States and Great Britain. Dialogue with the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez , was also considered auspicious. Macri did not mention his resentment due to the fact that the superfinal of the Copa Libertadores has moved to Madrid, in spite of his desire to have it in Buenos Aires.
The dialogue with the English prime minister left open the door to criticism due to the fact that there was no mention of the question of the sovereignty of Malvinas, but the Government hopes that the announcement of the new flight to the islands from Córdoba that preceded the meeting will attenuate them.
In addition, the Casa Rosada was pleased to have announced the appointment of a manager in the United Kingdom to encourage trade with Argentina.
There are still several announcements to be made, especially the agreements with China, but everything seems to indicate that the Goverment will be celebrating at the end of the day.
According to the minister Guillermo Dietrich, the succes of the summit will speed up the signing of many agreements . That is what they already celebrated yesterday in the Government. As much as the absence of disturbances in the streets.
Clearly a G20 is not a River-Boca , but the explosive record of other summits even in countries considered civilized predicted a much less peaceful day. Huge merit is also shared by the organizationsand the authorities that negotiated to avoid violence. Will it be an exception and a parenthesis or another legacy of the summit is still in question.
The brilliant gala at the Teatro Colón was the spectacular closing of the day, especially after the difficult start. As if to justify the emotion that Macri showed at the end of the concert. The hour of truth will arrive today.