APPROVED OPERATION WITH THE IMF
The Senate on Thursday gave its final approval to the government’s deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reschedule the $44.5 billion debt inherited from the Mauricio Macri administration. The 72 senators were all present for the vote, which took place with 56 votes against 13 in favor of the government with three abstentions. The 13 no votes came from the caucus of the ruling Frente de Todos coalition, with the opposition Juntos por el Cambio voting unanimously in favour. Vice-President Cristina Kirchner left the premises just two minutes after the start of the debate.
THE CRISTINA CONSPIRACY
Earlier this week, Vice President Cristina Kirchner uploaded to her social media a new video of the March 10 attack on her Senate offices amid protests against Parliament’s approval of the deal. with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying the video showed the attack was carefully planned. Meanwhile, the Provincial Minister of Buenos Aires Andrés’The CuervoLarroque continued to criticize what he perceived to be the government’s silence on the issue. Last Monday, eight youths involved in the attack were identified through security cameras and Ministry of Security software. One of the octets was arrested on Wednesday.
Argentina recorded the highest inflation in Latin America with the 4.7% announced for February by the national statistics office INDEC last Tuesday, well ahead of Venezuela’s 2.9% last month. Inflation thus amounts to 52.3% for the last 12 months and to 8.8% at this early stage of the year. The key food and drink item was particularly alarming at 7.5%, the worst figure of all. Core inflation, which eliminates seasonal and regulated prices, was 4.5%.
The presidential reaction was to announce a “war against inflation” from yesterday, immediately after the completion of the parliamentary approval of the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Earlier this week, presidential spokeswoman Gabriela Cerruti sought to defuse discontent in the agricultural sector by denying that grain export duties would be increased, saying the government was exploring other ways to prevent prices international standards to be transferred to the internal market, such as price caps. or subsidies, but the main agricultural lobbies were not convinced. Cerruti said the presidential decision followed a meeting with Agriculture Minister Julián Domínguez. Apart from fears of higher export duties on grain, the agricultural sector was also angered by the government’s decision last Monday to ban the export of soybean meal and oil, expressing its “total rejection in a statement while chief of staff Juan Manzur said he would be in “permanent contact” with provincial governors to monitor the situation in light of harsh criticism from Córdoba’s Juan Schiaretti and Santa Fe’s Omar Perotti. as well as the mayor of the city Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
The parallel “blue” dollar closed the week yesterday at 202.5 pesos, showing the continued calm of the progress of the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following the approval of the Senate the day before. Meanwhile, the official exchange rate rose during the week to 114.50 pesos yesterday, as quoted by Banco Nación, continuing this month’s acceleration to almost 189 pesos if we add 65% surcharges for savers. The parallel but legal exchange rates of the CCL (contado con liquidation) and Member of the European Parliament (electronic means of pages) fell further below the 200 peso mark, closing the week at around 195 and 194 pesos respectively. Country risk closed the week at 1,795 points, registering a downtrend in relief from the final approval of the IMF deal in the Senate but still above the lows of this month.
ANNIVERSARY OF THE ISRAELI ATTACK
The 30th anniversary of the terrorist bombing of the Israeli Embassy was commemorated at the crime scene last Thursday with tributes to the 29 fatal victims and the presence of the Ministers of Justice of both countries (Martín Soria and the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Gideon Sa’ar) among others.
NOT SO RESILIENT
An “Argentine Resilience Unit” led by Fernando Melillo (a former disciple of Civic Coalition leader Elisa Carrió) came and went in less than 24 hours earlier this week in what some saw as the first blow austerity in the wake of the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved by both houses of Congress last week. Spiteful opposition critics have compared the new creation, whose functions will now be taken over by the Ministry of Health, with Venezuela’s Ministry of Happiness. The notion of “community resilience” was first conceived last May and included the creation of a “virtual library” to make people more optimistic.
INCREASE IN MINIMUM WAGE
The Minimum Wage Board on Wednesday unanimously set a 45% increase in the wage floor during this year, raising it to 47,850 pesos by Christmas with a 28% increase in the second quarter through mid-2019. the year (when the increase will be up for review, as well as in August) and a 17% increase thereafter.
MACRI JETS OFF
Ex-president Mauricio Macri, accused of illegal espionage and currently abroad until next Monday, has been authorized by federal judge Julián Ercolini to travel to Spain, Italy, Qatar and the United States between March 25 and April 9. Macri’s overseas engagements include a bridge tournament in Parma.
NEW GOVERNOR OF THE MALVINAS
Outgoing Falkland Islands Governor Nigel Phillips will still be Britain’s local face on the disputed islands for next month’s 40th anniversary of the 1982 South Atlantic War, but in July he will be replaced by Alison Mary Blake, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Afghanistan until last year and the Falklands’ first female governor.
BORIC PLANS TOUR
On his first working day in office, new Chilean President Gabriel Boric, 36, told a press conference that his first trip abroad next month would be to Argentina, while adding that his approach to regional integration would not be based on ideological affinities in order to give Latin America a single voice in the world. Thus, he proposed that the problem of more than six million Venezuelan emigrants be absorbed by all the countries of the region.