December 17th, 2021
1. The Chamber of Deputies rejects the 2022 Budget Bill
The government initiative was rejected in the Chamber of Deputies by a vote of 132 against and 121 in favor. This was the first vote in the chamber after the recent legislative elections. The bill cannot be discussed again this year because it was rejected (article 81 of the National Constitution). The ruling party could not gain the 129 votes needed to approve the bill, which set an inflation rate of 33%; an official exchange rate of AR$131.1; a 4% GDP growth goal; and a primary fiscal deficit of -3.3%. Juntos por el Cambio, the opposition bloc that controlled 116 deputies, argued it did not have sufficient time to study the proposal and therefore rejected the government bill. In view of this scenario, the Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, assured that the Executive Power will make use of Law 24.156 to extend the current Budget.
2. November inflation was 2.5%
The National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC) released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for November, which grew by 2.5%. It now totals 45.4% so far in 2021 and 51.2% since December 2020. The items with the largest price increases were restaurants and hotels (5.0%), clothing and footwear (4.1%), and household equipment and maintenance (2.7%). In comparison, the least affected sectors were communication (0.8%), education (0.8%), and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (1.1%).
3. Argentina implements health pass
Through Administrative Decision 1198/2021, the national government declared individuals over 13 years old will need to be fully vaccinated to attend large closed and outdoor events, clubs and party halls, or participate in group trips. The measure will be implemented on January 1, 2022 and the accreditation will be available through the Cuidar app. The app certificate not be available for people with COVID-19 or who declare they have COVID symptoms in the app’s self-assessment.
La Nación: Pase sanitario en Argentina: el Gobierno lo implementa a partir de eneroArgentina: El Gobierno nacional lanza el pase sanitario Cuidar para seguir fomentando la vacunación y que las actividades de mayor riesgo sean más seguras
4. Internal Radical Civic Union elections take place
This Friday, December 17, internal elections were held in the Unión Cívica Radical (Radical Civic Union). The party leadership candidates were Gerardo Morales, governor of Jujuy—who is supported by the current president of the UCR, Alfredo Cornejo—and Martín Lousteau, a senator from the City of Buenos Aires. The elections take place following a rupture within the Radical Civic Union bloc in the National Congress after a group of legislators led by Martín Lousteau formed another bloc with Juntos por el Cambio called “Evolución Radical” (Radical Evolution). The leader of La Cámpora and president of Frente de Todos in the National Chamber of Deputies, Máximo Kirchner, will take office as president of the PJ in the province of Buenos Aires this Saturday, December 18.
5. Alberto Fernández participated in the Mercosur Summit
President Alberto Fernández today participated in a virtual meeting with his Mercosur partners that focused on adding regional production value, technology, and job creation. The host, Jair Bolsonaro, president of Brazil, handed over the pro tempore presidency he held for the last six months to Mario Abdo Benítez, president of Paraguay. Uruguay advocated making the common market more flexible and modernizing it via greater openness to global markets. Luis Lacalle Pou, Uruguay’s president, announced to his bloc partners in early September that he had begun negotiations with China for an “extra-zone” trade agreement, i.e. without the approval of the other three full member countries. During his speech, the Argentine president stated that “priority must be given to integrating regional value chains.” He also requested discussing “how to continue coordinating infrastructure, connectivity, energy, and commercial intelligence”.