June 28th, 2024


1. The government finally achieved the approval of the Base Law and the Fiscal Package

The Chamber of Deputies finally approved the Law of Bases and the Fiscal Package, and delivered to the Government its first two laws after six months of intense debates. After a 14-hour session and with perfect attendance, this Thursday, the deputies approved with 147 votes in favor, 107 votes against and two abstentions the Basic Law -accepting the changes to the wording proposed by the Senate- and with 144 votes in favor, 108 rejections and three abstentions, the approval in general of the Fiscal Law. In addition, the ruling party succeeded in reincorporating -with narrower majorities- the Income Tax and Personal Property chapters, which had been rejected by the Senate. On the other hand, Article 111, which required the PEN to submit a proposal to cut tax expenditure within 60 days, and which was the third point on which the ruling party and the allied opposition had insisted, did not achieve the two thirds required to move forward, and was therefore left out of the final text.

La Nación: Ley Bases: el Gobierno tiene asegurada la sanción y los votos justos para restituir el Impuesto a las Ganancias

2. Milei accuses IMF official of allowing Central Bank debt spiral during previous administration

Days after meeting with the head of the International Monetary Fund at the G7 summit in Italy, Javier Milei targeted a senior official under Kristalina Georgieva. Without naming him, yesterday he harshly questioned Rodrigo Valdés, director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department, allegedly for allowing the Central Bank’s debt to increase exponentially during the previous administration. The conflict came to light during a radio interview that Milei had with Radio Mitre from the Czech Republic, in which he commented that he still faces obstacles to lifting the price and capital controls (“cepo”) inherited from Alberto Fernández’s administration. “We are talking about four points of the GDP. And it is not only the responsibility of the previous government but also of an IMF technician who turned a blind eye to this, someone with links to the São Paulo Forum,” he said. Thus, the president made explicit for the first time his anger with the person in charge of monitoring the region and the program with Argentina. The economist took office on May 1, 2023, replacing the Brazilian Ilan Goldfajn. The reference to the São Paulo Forum is because he was minister from 2015 to 2017, during the administration of Michelle Bachelet, who participated in that space critical of neoliberalism. These comments strain the relationship between Milei and the IMF, an organization that has asked the Argentine president to moderate his economic adjustment policies in recent revisions.  

Clarín: Negociación con el FMI: quién es el funcionario al que apuntó Javier Milei y por qué genera conflicto

3. Regulations on internet, cellular and cable tariffs are eliminated 

This Thursday, through Resolution 13/2024 of ENACOM, all regulations capping Internet, cellular and cable rates were eliminated. The agency scrapped the regulations of the previous administration of Claudio Ambrosini that set a limit on companies for increases of 5% and up to 10% per month . This decision responds to the Necessity and Urgency Decree (DNU) 302/2024, which annulled the previous DNU 690/2020. The latter had declared ICT services as “essential and strategic public services,” granting ENACOM the power to regulate their rates. With the new provision, telecom companies recover the ability to freely set their prices, something that the regulator justifies as necessary to “safeguard the rules that allow the development of a competitive market.”

Ámbito financiero: El Gobierno elimina todas las regulaciones que ponían tope a las tarifas de Internet, celulares y cable

4. Government boosts the National Budget by 26 billion pesos with reinforcement in social policies

In spite of having a focus on budget-cutting policies and continuously seeking a fiscal surplus, the Government found it necessary to expand the current national budget items with a focus on the payment of Christmas bonuses, salaries, Alimentar Card and Gasoducto del Norte (Northern Gas Pipeline). According to Administrative Decision 470/2024 published in the Official Gazette, the national administration expanded the Budget, with emphasis on these axes, “in order to face expenses that cannot be postponed for its normal operation.” Overall, the budget was increased by 26 billion pesos.

Ámbito: El Gobierno amplió el Presupuesto con eje en el pago de aguinaldo, salarios, Tarjeta Alimentar y Gasoducto del Norte

5. Milei’s tour in Europe

President Javier Milei toured Europe with the aim of strengthening international ties and attracting investments to the country. He began his tour by participating in the G7 meeting in Italy. He then traveled to Madrid, where he was awarded by María Isabel Ayuso, a central figure of the Partido Popular – current opposition – with the international medal of the community of the Spanish capital. After his visit to Spain and the friction with that country due to the tense relationship with President Pedro Sánchez, Mr. Milei met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, with whom he discussed the relationship between the European Union and Mercosur, Argentina’s request to join the OECD and NATO, and the supply of lithium for the automotive industry in that country. Finally, he closed his tour in the Czech Republic where he was received by the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Fiala, to discuss Argentina’s request to join NATO, the defense of Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, and advancing a military cooperation agreement in which future Czech investments in Argentina are foreseen. In this sense, the Minister of Defense Obrana Tweetuje received her counterpart Luis Petri and highlighted the signing of a memorandum of understanding on military-technical cooperation. 

El Cronista: Tensión recargada con España, advertencia de Alemania y un acuerdo militar en Praga