- By Katy Watson
- BBC News, South America
There is everything to play for in this weekend’s presidential run-off. Few Argentines saw radical candidate Javier Milei coming until he won the primaries in August.
He may have been pipped to the post by left-wing Economy Minister Sergio Massa in last month’s first round but now polls put the two candidates neck-and-neck ahead of the decisive run-off vote.
One thing that is certain is that the economy will be the key factor in this election, which comes at a time of deep economic crisis for Argentina.
With inflation now topping an annual 140%, fixing the country’s finances is top of the agenda for voters and candidates alike.
“I personally have a little notebook with names of people who can’t make ends meet and I give them items on credit,” says Lourdes Monjes, who runs a corner shop in the poor Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Isla Maciel.
She has seen things get harder, especially in the past few years. “My clients pay me back and then they end up owing again, so it’s a vicious cycle they can’t get out of,” she says.
Isla Maciel sits in the shadow of Argentina’s largest port, its houses made of wood and corrugated iron.
On the walls there are murals of Juan Perón, after whom the populist political movement Peronism is named and whose wife Evita was hailed as a champion of the…