September 17th, 2021
1. The opposition prevailed in the country’s largest district primary elections
On Sunday, the Primary, Open, Simultaneous, and Mandatory (PASO) elections were held. Juntos, the main opposition party, had a good national showing in the largest districts (the Province and City of Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Córdoba, and Santa Fe). Although the PASO only solidifies the final general elections lists in November 14, it often provides insights on the state of the electorate. Of the 24 districts in the country, the opposition coalition obtained the most votes in 15. Meanwhile, Frente de Todos, the national ruling party, obtained the most votes in seven districts such as Río Negro and Neuquén. Moreover, Left and Libertarian candidates performed well; particularly Javier Milei, of La Libertad Avanza, who earned almost 14% of the votes in the City of Buenos Aires and positioned his party as the third most prominent in capital.
2. Officials offered their resignations after the elections
After the defeat in the primary elections, last Sunday, ministers and officials aligned with Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner offered their resignation to the President, Alberto Fernández. Led by the Minister of the Interior, Eduardo “Wado” de Pedro, the gesture sought to send a message within the ruling coalition of the Frente de Todos so that the Head of State sped up the change in the cabinet of some of its members, such as the Chief of Staff, Santiago Cafiero. However, after the presentation of the resignations, Fernández de Kirchner published a letter on her website in which she denied any attempt to erode the presidential figure, although she criticized Alberto Fernández’s communication team, represented by the Secretary of Communication and Press, Juan Pablo Biondi; she also confirmed that on several occasions she proposed to Fernández a change in the Chief of Staff chaired by Santiago Cafiero.
3. Inflation in August was 2.5%
The National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) last Tuesday for the month of August, which showed that consumer prices rose 2.5% compared to July and 51.4% year-on-year. The largest increases were in education and health, which saw their prices rise by 4.2%. At the other extreme, food and non-alcoholic beverages (1.5%); housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels (1.1%); and communication (-0.6%) were the least affected sectors. Additionally, according to the Basic Basket published by the same Institute, a family of four needed AR$ 68,359 to remain above the poverty line in August 2021, 50.3% more than in the same month last year.
4. The national government presents the 2022 Budget to Congress
As established by law, on Wednesday night, the draft General Budget of the National Administration for the Fiscal Year 2022 was sent Congress. It projected 4% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the next year, a AR$ 131 conversion rate, 33% annual inflation, 4% growth in real wages, a 3.3% primary deficit, and a financial deficit of 4.9%. The initiative also foresees an increase in public spending from 2.3% to 2.4%, including more investment in science, technology, education, and social projects. Public consumption was estimated to grow 3.1%, private consumption 4.6%, and investment 3.1%.
5. President Alberto Fernández seeks to boost national production and the fossil fuels sector
After the primary elections last Sunday, President Alberto Fernández presented two projects to promote national public tender production and oil sector investment and exports. The “Buy Argentine, development of suppliers and purchases for innovation” bill aims to promote greater national industry participation in public procurement, investments, and technology transfers to sectors with high technological and productive capacities. The project also attempts to guarantee domestic supply and more energy exports over the next 20 years through tax incentives.
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