One of the games ministerial shake most lamented by the different sectors is that of Jose Antonio Ocamporesponsible for the Treasury portfolio, and who on more than one occasion acted as a retaining wall to keep the markets calm.
(You can also read: How much the fight between Petro and Bahamón could affect the coffee sector)
Although he thought that he would end up retiring in the academy, because it is professor at columbia university in new yorkGustavo Petro convinced him to come to lead the economic portfolio in the midst of a process of recovery and adjustment of the economy after the biggest crisis experienced due to the pandemic.
Thus, at the age of 70, he once again embarked on the challenge of leading the Ministry of Finance, as he did during the time of former President Ernesto Samper (between 1996 and 1997). However, the new and maturing of him did not appear as he expected and, After eight months in office, Petro asked him to resign by protocol. And although he asked him to reconsider it for the convenience of the markets, the president told him that he himself would bear the consequences.
This is not the first time your cargo has been at risk. In March, in the midst of the mini-crisis in the cabinet that led to the departure of the Minister of Education, Alejandro Gaviria, rumors about his possible goodbye were fanned. This because together with him, the Minister of Agriculture, Cecilia López, and the director of the National Planning Department (DNP), Jorge Iván González, they wrote a letter warning about the financial unfeasibility of health care reform.
However, he came out of that very free. Not only did the President ask him to continue in office, but he persists with his license from the American university to stay for another year, an extension that finally, and despite him, he does not feel overwhelmed.
But the differences came from long ago. Even from the start Ocampo made it a routine to go out to deny or clarify in public some of the President’s statements and also from his colleagues, such as Minister Irene Vélez, something that the president did not like in order to carry out his changes.
Even before possession, he said that the 75 billion pesos that Petro wanted for his tax reform They would not be possible either and it would only be the 4,000 richest who would be there, if not more. Finally, the project was fulfilled for 20 trillion pesos and although it made the companies pay the most, especially the oil and mining companies, it also included a new package of taxes on income, wealth and healthy issues for the natural people.
One of the most famous rectifications was when Petro questioned the decision of the Banco de la República to raise interest rates to control inflation and He spoke of putting a tax on swallow capital. Hours later and before the rise of the dollar, Ocampo put out that fire saying that investors should not fear for such a tax.
«The Government is not going to propose exchange controls, nor is it going to impose capital inflows (…) There is no fear for these investors. We are even more pleased that foreign capital is entering the country,» @MinHacienda, @JoseA_Ocampo. pic.twitter.com/cjvWbkEjCd
– Min Hacienda (@MinHacienda) October 7, 2022
He also denied that land could be bought with public debt bonds or that Colombia would not sign new contracts for oil exploitation, as Vélez has argued on several occasions. Similarly, she came out when the minister said that countries should «decrease in their economic models» and there were disagreements with Petro over the Ecopetrol board or the pension.
He denied others such as the president of Colpensiones, Jaime Dussán, who stated that the money from the pension savings it could be used to finance projects like the Buenaventura train. And a few days ago he supported the new manager of the National Federation of Coffee Growers, Germán Bahamón, while Petro criticized his choice.
This is the new president of the National Federation of coffee growers. I thought it was time for dialogue and common construction. I will dialogue with your regional grassroots organizations. pic.twitter.com/2sXzQgRkRs
— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) April 27, 2023
All this corresponds to him so that when Petro said he had «an internal enemy» all eyes were on him. However, now with his departure the debate on who will have the role of putting out the fires and reassuring the markets.