December 4, 2020
1. President Alberto Fernández speaks with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
On Monday President Alberto Fernández met virtually with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and U.S. President-elect Joe Biden. The Brazilian chancellery reported that the meeting provided an opportunity for both presidents to confirm their desire to work together towards the development of their respective countries, the improvement of Mercosur and to negotiate trade deals with other nations. With regards to the Fernández’s discussion with Joe Biden, the Argentine government reported that both parties looked forward to working together.
2. Government announces end of ATP
On Wednesday, Argentine revenue service (AFIP) head Mercedes Marcó del Pont announced that the eighth installment of the Production and Labor Assistance Program (ATP) would be the final such payment, furthering the country’s financial adjustment. The ATP 8 program provided for the payment of a complementary salary to 33,873 business in November, representing approximately 536,312 workers and cost more than ARS $10 billion (USD $122.48 million).
3. Ordinary congressional sessions extended to January 3rd
President Alberto Fernández further extended ordinary congressional sessions through January 3rd, and approved extraordinary sessions beginning the following day until February 28th. With the extension of ordinary sessions, legislators will be able to bring up any topic, not only government projects as occurs during extraordinary sessions. Additionally, the government approved the discussion of several projects during the extraordinary sessions – including the abortion legalization bill, the 1,000 day integral care initiative for pregnant women, the solidary contribution on large fortunes, and an initiative regarding the strengthening of public debt sustainability.
4. The President stated that “you don’t get out of poverty with the State’s social assistance, you get out with businessmen who invest”
Yesterday, President Alberto Fernández closed the conference organized by the Argentine Industrial Union (UIA), the country’s largest employer federation. Fernández called on the private sector to invest and generate employment, stating, “Poverty is not escaped through state assistance […] The state will be present to help those who need it and generate conditions for entrepreneurs to produce and hire workers.” He also stated that the state would charge more taxes on those businesses that do well. Finally, he lauded Argentina’s effort as a society during the pandemic and remarked on the need that this experience helps the country “return to the best of capitalism” in order for the country to grow together.
5. City of Buenos Aires presents claim before court regarding reduction of co-participation funds
On Wednesday, Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta presented his claim before the Argentine Supreme Court with the goal of reversing the reduction of federal tax co-participatory funds imposed by President Fernández. In this way, the city hopes to not only avoid losing a daily revenue of ARS $150 million (USD $1.84 million) that it was receiving from the funds prior to the president’s decision, but also halt the advance of a new government initiative that would subtract even more from local coffers through a Senate bill. The president’s announcement to subtract 1.18% of the city’s co-participatory funds means that, annually, the city loses ARS $36 billion (USD $440.95 million) it previously received.