January 21st, 2022
1. Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero´s visits the United States, in the midst of negotiations with the IFM
On Tuesday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Santiago Cafiero, began his two-day official visit to the United States in the midst of negotiations between the International Monetary Fund and Argentina to reach an agreement to delay payments to the organization. The Chancellor traveled with the purpose of obtaining political support in the talks with the IMF. That same Tuesday, he met with the Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives. After the meeting, the Secretary of State’s Office issued a statement in which it stated the importance of a “solid economic policy framework that returns growth to the country.” During the tour, the Vice President of the Nation, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, made a statement from Argentina on the $57 billion loan accepted by the government of Mauricio Macri through a letter in which she criticized the previous management of the Argentine government and the decision of the IMF to grant such loan.
La Nación: Cafiero llegó a Washington para aceitar la relación con el gobierno de Biden en medio de la negociación con el FMI
Ámbito: El comunicado de Blinken tras la reunión con Cafiero
La Nación: “Pandemia macrista”: el mensaje de Cristina Kirchner en medio de la negociación con el FMI
2. The meeting between the minister of Economy and the opposition to discuss the status of the IFM agreement was suspended
A few days ago, the national government summoned the governors and legislative representatives of the opposition to share the status of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. However, the meeting, which was scheduled for last Tuesday, did not take place due to the inaction of both parties. Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, head of government of the City of Buenos Aires, stated that “more important than a meeting is that we have an economic plan that tells us how Argentina will grow, how it will generate jobs and prosperity for all. The negotiation with the Fund is a part, and possibly not the most important part of a more comprehensive plan.” The Governor of Jujuy, Gerardo Morales, who coordinated the meeting with the national government stated that “Guzmán (Minister of Economy) does not want to account for the adjustment that he agreed to with the Fund.” The country accumulated commitments of USD $20 billion this year.
3. The basic food basket cost remained below inflation in 2021
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC), the cost of the basic food basket (CBA) rose 45.3% over the past year, so that a family composed of a couple with two children between six and eight years old needed to receive income of $ 32,963.69 last December to fall into indigence. Meanwhile, the cost of the total basic food basket (CBT) increased by 40.5% during 2021, so that the same family needed to earn $76,146.13 to be able to pay for food and basic services and not fall below the poverty line. Both indicators are below annual inflation, which reached 50.9%.
4. The government statement that set off alarms at Disney-FOX
The National Antitrust Commission (Comisión Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia, CNDC) issued a statement demanding Disney divest part of its assets gained in its international merger with Fox. It granted the company 18 months to break up the ESPN-Fox union and stipulated that 11 business units, including Copa Libertadores, Champions League, and Formula 1, must be transferred to another company that is not a member of the sports broadcasting industry. Another provisions stipulated that the company broadcast River or Boca in the Professional League (the two largest soccer teams in the country) “openly and free of charge.” The CNDC summoned Disney to a hearing within 15 days, where the company could make a new offer to divest.
Argentina: Fusión Disney-Fox: la CNDC dictaminó la desinversión y puso condiciones para garantizar la competencia en el mercado de señales deportivas
La Nación: TV: El Gobierno impone requisitos para la fusión Fox-Disney y los partidos de Boca o River podrían ir por TV abierta
5. The Ministry of Labor made COVID work absenteeism recommendations official
Through Resolution 27/2022, the Ministry of Labor, Employment, and Social Security informed employers and employees about recent Ministry of Health of the Nation recommendations due to the increase in cases and work absenteeism. Workers diagnosed with COVID-19 who have not required hospitalization may return to their jobs without the needing to present a negative test result or discharge certificate, with differences in the isolation periods in accordance with the whether they are fully vaccinated. Likewise, asymptomatic close contacts will be able to return to their work activities after strictly complying with safety measures (masking, ventilation, social distancing). They will not need to present a negative test result or discharge certificate after 10 days since their last contact if they are asymptomatic and completed their vaccination regime. Employees who do not have symptoms and are fully vaccinated do not need to isolate.