BUENOS AIRES - The President of Argentina said in an exclusive interview with EFE released on Thursday that there was no better place to invest in than his country.
In an interview that spanned numerous topics, Macri talked about economic, political, social and sports issues, as well as Argentina's relations with other Latin American countries, Spain and the rest of the world.
"Argentina is a country that is back in the world," Macri told EFE's president, Josť Antonio Vera, during the interview held at the Kirchner Cultural Center (CCK) in the country's capital.
The interview came as Buenos Aires played host to the Argentina Business and Investment Forum, which was attended by more than 2,000 professionals from the global financial sector.
According to Macri, "many of those who attended the Forum have arrived at the conclusion that there is no place better (than Argentina) to invest in right now."
He added that his country's potential for growth was unparalleled in the world.
The president, who assumed office in Dec. 2015 after winning the presidential runoff ballotage with 51.34 percent of the vote, expressed his hope that Argentina's rampant inflation rate of 20 percent will decrease in the next three years, reaching single digits "as in the majority of the world's countries."
Macri urged "all businessmen in the world" to accompany Argentina in this new development, adding that Argentina constituted "a great opportunity" for Spanish companies, who he said have suffered in the past decade but are now "stronger than ever to invest and grow with us."
When asked about the Latin American region, Macri said he was feeling desperate because the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was "getting worse every day," since "more and more people suffer the consequences and their lives are worth less and less, human rights are being violated on a daily basis and clearly Latin America cannot turn its back on what is happening."
According to Macri, Venezuela "has failed to meet the requisites" to be part of Mercosur _ a sub-regional trading bloc and customs union for South American nations _ and is unfit to assume the organization's presidency, a Venezuelan goal that Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay openly reject.
Macri also emphasized his good relations with Pope Francis I, who was archbishop of Buenos Aires when Macri served as the capital's mayor, saying they enjoyed a relationship of "mutual respect."
"I'm traveling to Rome in October for the canonization of (Argentine priest) Father (Josť Gabriel) Brochero," Macri said, adding he had been asked by the Pontiff to bring his wife and four-year-old daughter Antonia, whom he wants to greet.
The Argentinian Head of State also touched upon the controversial issue of the previous government's partial renationalization of Spanish energy corporation Repsol's subsidiary in Argentina, YPF, in May 2012.
"That was not an expropriation; it was a confiscation that, over time, became an expropriation," Macri said.
"On top of that, as with so many mistakes made by the previous Government, it was Repsol who got the best deal, because it sold its oil at the highest price when oil prices were already down to a fifth of that value," he added.
Macri also tackled the issue of the recent rise in populist movements, such as the Spanish political party PODEMOS ("We can"), saying that they generate expectations that do not correspond with reality and then "bring about frustration, anger, violence and the destruction of the future."
In addition, Macri, who was chairman of popular soccer club Boca Juniors from 1995-2008, talked about two of Argentina's greatest sports icons: FC Barcelona megastar Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid manager Diego Pablo "Cholo" Simeone.
He praised Messi's perseverance and resolve, as well as Simeone's conviction and strength.