August 13th, 2021
1. New Ministers of Social Development and Defense sworn in
President Alberto Fernández swore in new leaders for the ministries of Social Development and of Defense, Juan Zabaleta Jorge Taiana, respectively. The changes took place after the confirmation that former ministers Daniel Arroyo and Agustín Rossi would redirect their efforts towards upcoming local elections. By law, they are required to resign. “I am going to receive two colleagues and friends who have very important merits. I have worked side by side with Juanchi (Zabaleta) over these past two years during a very difficult time. And Jorge Taiana, with whom we have already had the opportunity to share the cabinet. He is already playing in another league because he has an impressive life story and a great vision to solve government problems,” said the president at the beginning of the ceremony at Casa Rosada. After the announcement, the new ministers held a press conference. “We are going to be assisting and carrying forward each of the programs that Daniel Arroyo and Alberto Fernández put in place. We are seeing the end of the pandemic, vaccination is working very well,” assured the new Minister Juan Zabaleta.
2. July inflation was 3%
The Argentine statistical agency (INDEC) released its Consumer Price Index (CPI) – the country’s official measure of inflation – for the month of July, which registered an increase of 3%. As a result, it has accumulated 29.1% so far in 2021, and 51.8% in relation to the same month of last year. As a result, inflation has already exceeded the 2021 inflation target set by the national government in the 2021 Budget, which had been estimated at 29% per year. Electricity and gas rates will remain frozen for residential users through the end of the year, as well as fuels. In this report, the INDEC revealed that the items that experienced a higher increase were restaurants and hotels (4.8%), health (3.8%), food and beverages (3.4%), and miscellaneous goods and services (3.2%). In comparison, the sectors with the lowest increases were education (2.5%), transportation (2.3%), clothing (1.2%), and communication (0.4%).
3. Alberto Fernández will receive Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou
President Alberto Fernández will have dinner today with Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou. The last meeting between the two heads of state took place on November 19, 2020 in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. This meeting takes place within the framework of tensions in the relations between both countries, after the last Mercosur summits. On both occasions, the differences between Alberto Fernández, on one side, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (President of Brazil) on another, and Lacalle Pou on the other were exposed. It should be noted that the Uruguayan president and his Brazilian counterpart have raised on different occasions the need to open Mercosur’s economy and make tariffs more flexible, especially the Common External Tariff (CET).
4. Government supporting bill that would make Internet an essential public service
President Alberto Fernández ratified the government’s will to make the Internet a public service. At the launching of the Argentina Programa plan, Fernández referred to connectivity in the country, whose main milestone was Decree 690, published in August 2020, which declared mobile telephony, Internet and cable TV as a public service, in addition to freezing their rates. At the time, the companies involved appealed to the courts and the decree was challenged. In this sense, the president mentioned the sector’s uneasiness with this regulation and promised again that he will make the Internet a public service so that it reaches all Argentines and that we will not be “cheated or robbed with the tariffs.” Recently, the Senator from Chubut, Alfredo Luenzo (FdT), presented a bill that replicates the content of Decree 690. Luenzo stated: “The bill is drafted in mirror with 690. We are not going to deviate from that criterion. The idea is to pass it by law so that it will not be challenged before the Courts as the decree was.”
La Nación: Senado: el kirchnerismo impulsa un proyecto para declarar servicio público esencial a internet
5. Richmond Laboratories delivered one million doses of Sputnik V produced in the country
This Thursday, the first million doses of Sputnik V vaccine, manufactured by Richmond Laboratories, were formally delivered to the Andreani Pharmaceutical Logistics Operations Plant in Argentina. Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero and Health Minister Carla Vizzotti, highlighted the importance of the production of the vaccines in the country and pointed out that “it is a source of pride” to be “one of the few countries that were able to produce a vaccine against the coronavirus.” In addition, a total of 530,400 doses arrived this week from AstraZeneca and Oxford. As a result, since the beginning of the immunization campaign, Argentina has received 43,932,330 vaccines, of which 40,704,064 doses were distributed throughout the country. Additionally, in relation to the management of the pandemic, the Ministry of Transportation established, through Resolution 269/21, that public transportation is no longer only for essential workers in areas that are not in epidemiological and sanitary emergencies. At present, no city in the country is in a situation of epidemiological and sanitary emergency. At the same time, the transport capacity of bus and train units has expanded.