NEW YORK (Oct. 23)
Jose Gelbard, Economic Minister in Argentina, resigned this week, according to reports reaching here from Buenos Aires. The 56-year-old Polish-born Jewish immigrant and the team of experts who worked with him to fashion 17 months of Peronist economic policy resigned hours before talks were due to begin on wage hikes that Gelbard warned would be inflationary.
President Isabel Peron accepted the resignation and replaced Gelbard with Alfredo Gomez Morales, a former economy minister who resigned as president of the Argentine Central Bank on Sept. 2 in a dispute with Gelbard. Gelbard had been under attack for some time by Welfare Minister Jose Lopez Rega and some of the attacks had been viewed as anti-Semitic. There was no immediate indication as to whether Gelbard’s resignation was in any way also connected with these attacks.
Gelbard was reportedly regarded as the chief spokesman for the “National Businessmen,” a group of old-line Peronists who were often at odds with more conservative businessmen and especially with local subsidiaries of multinational corporations. There was no immediate indication as to what role Gelbard will play. if any, in the government in any other capacity.