April 26th, 2024


1. Debate begins on the new base law

After some tension between the government and the pro-dialogue opposition regarding the labor chapter, which almost caused the collapse of negotiations over the Base Law, the Chamber of Deputies started the plenary session of commissions where the ruling party will try to obtain an opinion for the new Base Law and the tax reform, and to promote its consideration for approval in the Chamber of Deputies next Monday. A long day is foreseen. Although there is an agreement on the way, there are still differences in key points of the discussion, especially in the above-mentioned labor chapter. The proposal made by the radicals, which envisions a radical reform of the Argentine labor system, was added. This proposal was rejected by the PRO and the Hacemos block, led by Ritondo and Pichetto. Therefore, although the government has enough numbers to obtain the committee’s opinion and to submit it for discussion in the Chamber, approval will not be so easy.

Infobae: Diputados: con diferencias entre los bloques dialoguistas, comenzó el debate de la Ley Bases y la reforma laboral y fiscal

2. Protest in defense of the public university

On Tuesday, protests were held in different parts of the country in defense of the national public university, where students and social and political movements gathered to demand funds and access to quality higher education as a right. In response, the National Government clarified that it has no intention of closing universities and that, although the funds will be transferred to the institutions, it expects them to comply with an audit process to evaluate their use. Finally, on Wednesday, the opposition called for a session in the Chamber of Deputies to debate the university budget. This failed to take place due to lack of quorum, since most of the legislators of La Libertad Avanza, the PRO and the Unión Cívica Radical, among other blocks, did not show up for the session.   

Página 12: Masiva marcha universitaria: la reacción de Milei y las repercusiones

3. The Government recorded a surplus of AR$ 257 billion

On national TV and together with his economic team, President Javier Milei offered an analysis of his government’s economic policy. He mentioned that the public sector recorded a surplus of more than AR$ 275 billion, achieving a financial surplus of 0.2% of the GDP in the first quarter, the first surplus since 2008. He highlighted that the figure was achieved thanks to the reduction of 76% of transfers to the provinces, 87% of public works and 50% fewer political posts, elimination of agencies and reduction of advertising. He also mentioned that support was also given to vulnerable sectors through the increase of different social plans. Finally, he mentioned that the projected economic growth will be focused on three stages: The expansion of strategic sectors such as gas, oil, the countryside and mining; as well as the recomposition of real wages; the low capitalization of the economy to generate investment opportunities with high returns; and the retraction of the treasury to return 15 points of GDP to the private sector in the form of savings, to finance investment.

Clarín: Con fuerte respaldo a Caputo, Milei ratificó el ajuste tras lograr primer superávit financiero en 16 años

4. Javier Milei was present at Fundación Libertad’s Annual Dinner

President Javier Milei gave a speech at the annual dinner of Fundación Libertad. In it, he elaborated on his economic achievements, responded to criticisms to his program, defended the adjustment course and the no monetary emission policy, and made clear that he will go ahead, even if he does not have the political support. “We have a stabilization program, a disinflation program. Because there is a reason for inflation to go down. It is not that it goes down by magic.” He reinforced the concept of recovery, pointing out that “when we received that monumental deficit of 15 points of GDP, 5 in the treasury and 10 in the Central Bank, today, between the adjustment we made in the treasury and the adjustment the Central Bank has made, from 15 points we reduced it to 13.” “If we want to raise and improve the quality of life of Argentines, we must attack the fiscal deficit, we must attack public spending and not only at the national level, we must also attack it at the provincial and municipal levels.” The audience included political representatives such as Mauricio Macri; Luis Lacalle Pou and José María Aznar, and important Argentine businessmen.

Ámbito Financiero: Javier Milei ratificó el rumbo económico y minimizó al poder político

5. Economic activity fell again

In a context of recession and high inflation, the Monthly Economic Activity Estimator (EMAE) registered a 3.2% drop in February compared to the same month of last year. This is the fourth consecutive month of negative year-on-year results, after the drops recorded in November (-0.9%), December (-4.5%) and January (-4%). Compared to the same month of 2023, seven sectors of activity that make up the EMAE registered increases in February, among which Fishing (+31.6% y-o-y improvement) and Mining and Quarrying (11.7% y-o-y) stood out. Electricity, gas and water (7.6%), Agriculture, livestock, hunting and forestry (5.5%), Education (1.8%), Social and health services (1.8%) and Public administration and defense (1%) also improved, according to data published by the Indec Institute. On the other hand, eight sectors of activity registered decreases in the interannual comparison, among which Construction (-19.1% y/y) and Financial Intermediation (-12.1% y/y) stand out. Together with Manufacturing Industry (-8.4% y/y) and Wholesale, Retail Trade and Repairs (-5.5% y/y) contributed 3.1 percentage points to the y/y fall of the EMAE.

Infobae: La actividad económica cayó 3,2% en febrero y fue el cuarto mes consecutivo de retracción