July 31, 2020
1. President Fernández announced the extension of quarantine
President Alberto Fernández announced that preventive, mandatory and social isolation and distancing will be extended until August 16th inclusive, without changes on the current measures that operate in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (AMBA). Once again, the president called for individual care for the collective benefit, with a speech that seek to challenge society, with a special focus on young people, to prevent circulation and social meetings that contribute to the virus circulation. During the conference, President Fernández was accompanied by the governor of Buenos Aires province, Axel Kicillof, and the Buenos Aires city major, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
2. President Fernández presents the justice reform plan
President Alberto Fernández announced on Monday the details of a justice reform project he will send to Congress with the objective of “better organizing the federal judiciary” through the unification and doubling of federal judges. The head of state affirmed that “the judiciary should be in the hands of the appropriate people who are not susceptible to any type of pressure.” Moreover, he declared that the proposal will focus on consolidating an independent judiciary, “ruled by the highest standards of transparency and [one] that develops decisions swiftly and efficiently.” During his speech, Fernández was accompanied by the council of advisors that will examine the internal functioning of the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Public Prosecutions.
Ámbito Financiero: Punto por punto: los cambios que propone la reforma judicial
3. Senate approves regulation of remote work and debt restructuring under local law
Yesterday, with 40 votes in favor and 30 against, the Senate approved the Remote Work Law without changes regarding the text approved in the Chamber of Deputies. The initiative was passed after joining 17 bills presented in relation to remote work, both by the government and the opposition, and with the contribution of representatives from labor unions, chambers of commerce and the government. The executive branch will have to regulate the law, which will come into effect 90 days after the end of mandatory isolation measures. On the other hand, during the same session, the Senate unanimously approved the project to restructure debt in foreign currency under local legislation, an initiative that will likely be sanctioned by the lower house next week, and establishes similar conditions to the negotiation that the government proposes with creditors under foreign law.
4. Deputies received the Chief of Staff and debate the moratorium
Chief of Staff Santiago Cafiero presented his first management report yesterday in the Chamber of Deputies. Regarding the crisis, Cafiero noted that the situation “is caused by the coronavirus pandemic and by the quarantine” and said that official activity considers a combination of health and economic issues. Moreover, the project slated to extend the tax and social security moratorium and an initiative that declares an emergency until December 31st for preventive bankruptcy processes until December 31st, 2020 are under discussion in the legislature. The extension of the national budget, which authorizes government spending to settle social and labor programs in order to alleviate the economic crisis, will be left for next week, along with the debt project under local legislation that obtained initial approval from the Senate.
5. The Minister of Economy referred to the debt in a meeting with the Atlantic Council
In a meeting organized by the Atlantic Council, the Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, said that the country “made the maximum effort it could make”, referring to the latest offer presented to creditors to restructure approximately USD $63.5 billion of debt under foreign law. Additionally, he explained that the proposal presented to creditors covered multiple issues that were part of the negotiation. “Argentina went through many crises in which many times there were promises that were not kept, and that is what we are not going to do,” the official emphasized. When asked about the possibility of changing the deadline again, Guzmán simply said that nothing had been decided yet. At the same time, he warned that Argentina will continue with the plans to restructure the debt in U.S. dollars under national legislation, and that “it will advance with an agreement with the IMF, regardless of the result” of the proposal with the creditors under foreign law.