Ex-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner also engages in low-level campaigning for a Senate seat in Buenos Aires province — indeed her son Máximo is more visible around Greater Buenos Aires. Running for the Workers’ Leftist Front, Néstor Pitrola descends on the Atlantic coast and highlights the dangers facing workers’ rights. Meanwhile her boss President Macri joins Buenos Aires province Governor María Eugenia Vidal in the Greater Buenos Aires district of Tres de Febrero — unsurprisingly, they make Metrobus part of their mobility. Finally, fortune smiles on Randazzo — electoral courts challenge the validity of Peronist rival Mario Ishii’s list. CFK’s senatorial running-mate Jorge Taiana complements her overtures to small business by joining auto workers in San Martín.
July 28, 2017 17:02 UTC
At present, by the date that students complete high school, 95 percent have taken complementary classes in private academies. I do not propose to replicate the experience of South Korea in Argentina. South Korea also heads the suicide rankings among young people because of the tremendous pressure young people are subjected to there. But there are very few countries in the world in which there is no evaluation at the end of high school or another one, in order to enter university. In the words of Guadagni: “Argentina is the Latin American country with the largest university population, 435 students per 10,000 inhabitants.
July 28, 2017 17:02 UTC
Yet this contrast between a clear-cut orthodoxy and a confused gradualism can also be exaggerated — the media spotlight tends to fall on an unsustainably high fiscal deficit which the Macri administration has yet to show any sign of significantly taming but most observers fail to notice that Central Bank policies have resulted in the accumulation of a formidable quasi-fiscal deficit. While a Central Bank in the red formed part of the Kirchnerite inheritance, the negative data for net assets have ballooned in the last 18 months. But these dollar reserves have been purchased at the price of printing pesos way beyond local demand which then need to be “sterilised” by issuing Lebacs and other bonds at inordinately high interest rates, thus causing Central Bank debt to double from 28-plus to over 58 billion dollars. Such issues not only contribute numerically to the quasi-fiscal deficit but are qualitatively bad for the economy since they crowd the private sector out of credit markets. The previous Kirchnerite administration notoriously sustained its fiscal deficit by draining the Central Bank in order to avoid debt (not really an option while default persisted) but Sturzenegger’s policies do not seem to be doing anything to improve solvency.
Friday, July 28, 2017 LANATA DENIED ENTRYJournalist Jorge Lanata was denied entry to Venezuela and subsequently deported to Panama yesterday, prompting the Chargé d’affaires Eduardo Porretti to step in. Lanata indicated that he had been travelling to Venezuela ahead of Sunday’s elections for the Constituent Assembly — apparently without the due press visa — and had been denied entry and interrogated by armed officers. Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie expressed his “displeasure”.
Friday, July 28, 2017 Red card or red faces? As widely forecast, the Chamber of Deputies fell short of the two-thirds majority required to expel Julio De Vido from its ranks this week. Expelling a member who has yet to be convicted (he faces trial on three counts) would be a dangerous precedent which could threaten democracy. De Vido might be an easy target but if the vote total is all that matters, this could become a dangerous and extremely arbitrary precedent for excluding parliamentary minorities. The doubts here lie not with “Duvidoso” (reportedly the ex-minister’s nickname in Brazil) but with what matters most to the Macri government — institutional integrity or electoral opportunism?
Friday, July 28, 2017 Latam in briefBudget trippled for Brazil corruption probeRIO DE JANEIRO — The Brazilian Attorney-General’s Office has tripled its 2018 budget for a probe of a sprawling corruption scandal that has engulfed political and business leaders across Latin America. Federal prosecutors decided this week to boost spending on the so-called Operation Car Wash (Lava Jato) investigation from US$165 million initially allotted in January to more than US$500 million. The probe could get an additional US$165 million later this year, though that is not certain. Martínez said criminal charges for money-laundering would be filed against two Brazilian citizens, one Portuguese and three Colombians. Seven people, including a former senator and a former deputy minister of transport, have been jailed for involvement in the corruption scandal.
First came the Spanish state flag carrier Iberia, then American Airlines and as from 2001, again Spanish capital with Marsans. Restored to state hands, Aerolíneas recovered markets and routes with notable success but ended up struggling with costly burdens and overmanning which persist to this day. Rather than an error, a rushed and botched nationalisation to take this state company out of corrupt hands (those of Marsans) looks like complicity. As a result, the vulture fund buying into the Marsans claim will pocket almost half that US$ 320 million. All justifying one description of Argentina which might sound like the highest praise but is usually a put-down — “a generous country.”
Mercosur meet-up, expropriation woes, stats, the dollar and De Vido Friday, July 28, 2017 Seven daysBy Michael Soltys / Senior EditorFRIDAY. The Mercosur summit in Mendoza stresses the Venezuelan crisis far more than any agenda of the four original members. MONDAY.Intense lobbying against Kirchnerite deputy Julio De Vido and a rising dollar set the tone for the week. INDEC statistics bureau posts 3.3 percent growth for May — the brightest figure it has announced during the Mauricio Macri presidency. Former Planning minister De Vido survives a 138-95 Lower House vote to oust him — short of the required two-thirds majority.
Yet, a few weeks ago a reader wrote a letter criticising me, saying I was in denial for rejecting the 30,000 disappeared claim. I have three news items confirming that is where the 30,000 disappeared figure came from. The moment someone questions the 30,000 figure, human rights organisations, leftists and populist politicians protest. To conclude, the CONADEP 8,961 disappeared figure is not 100 percent correct, but is the best we have. My opinion: for much as I agree that the 30,000 figure catches people’s attention, the 8,961 figure is the figure ethical media should use.
Friday, July 28, 2017 Venezuela: a catastrophic gridlockBy Pablo StefanoniFor the HeraldIf some form of agreement between the sectors does not emerge, the future could not be darkerThe crisis hitting Venezuela does not seem to offer any easy way out. If Nicolás Maduro won narrowly in 2013, his United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) suffered a stunning defeat. But it is not clear whether Maduro today is strong enough to make very radical changes. Perhaps other Latin American governments could contribute to that instead of joining the generalised hysteria regarding Venezuela. And so there is a catastrophic gridlock.
July 28, 2017 16:41 UTC
Friday, July 28, 2017 2015 presidential election balance sheets rejectedFederal Judge María Servini de Cubría has ruled that the 2015 presidential campaigns of Sergio Massa (UNA), Margarita Stolbizer (Progressives), Nicolás del Caño (Leftist Workers’ Front), Mauricio Macri (Let’s Change), Daniel Scioli (Victory Front) and Adolfo Rodríguez Saá (Federal Commitment) violated financing rules and suspended public funds to those parties for the upcoming legislative elections. However, that ruling is subject to confirmation by a higher court and will not likely come into effect for this year’s elections. Servini de Cubría ruled after Prosecutor Jorge Di Lello had found inconsistencies in the sworn statements of revenue and spending in the elections for the candidates and audits by the National Electoral Court also detected anomalies. The FIT and Progressives were judged to have committed administrative infractions but nonetheless had their balance sheets rejected. Herald staff
July 28, 2017 16:18 UTC
Friday, February 17, 2017 The Fayt fight continuesThe Mauricio Macri administration’s avowed intent to renovate the judiciary was the main headline of at least one leading newspaper last Monday but such plans do not seem to be reflected in the government’s extremely passive attitude towards Supreme Court Chief Justice Elena Highton de Nolasco’s bid to override the 75-year age limit in force as from 1994. That bid can be debated in both directions but the same cannot be said of Federal Administrative Litigation Court judge Enrique Lavié Pico’s ruling adjudging that bid to be “reasonable” — and nor can the refusal to challenge this ruling now be considered as anything less than a contradiction with the government pledge to overhaul the judiciary. Not only was Lavié Pico ruling as an interested party when deciding whether judges can be removed — he was arrogating Supreme Court status in presuming to interpret the Constitution (his conclusion that the 1994 Constitution’s clause mandating the retirement of Supreme Court justices at the age of 75 was itself unconstitutional is distinctly bizarre). Highton de Nolasco being obliged to retire at the statutory age when her late colleagues Enrique Petracchi and Carlos Fayt both continued well beyond might look at first sight like gender discrimination (and that argument has been advanced) but the issue is not quite so simple — unlike Highton de Nolasco, Petracchi and Fayt were both pre-1994 appointments who could argue that the new limits should not be made retroactive. Yet Lavié Pico claimed that these dates were irrelevant because the real issue was whether this limit on judicial terms clashed with the constitutional protection of judges — he might have a point although he is hardly the judge to make the decision himself.
In his most extensive remarks as president about the chances for peace in the Middle East, Trump said he “could live with” either a separate Palestinian state or a unitary state as a peaceful outcome. The new US president confidently predicted that he will help broker an end to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They each pointed to a regional approach that would involve a broad spectrum of Middle Eastern states and by default, eventually, the Palestinians. He insisted that Israel retain security of the western banks of the Jordan River, a sliver of land that would allow Israel to encircle any future Palestinian state. “We believe undermining the two-state solution is not a joke,” responded Saeb Erekat, a top Palestinian official and former peace negotiator.
Friday, February 17, 2017 US President blames intel officials over Flynn-Russia affairWASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump on Wednesday blamed the media and “illegally leaked” intelligence information for bringing down his national security adviser Michael Flynn, one day after the White House said Trump had asked Flynn to resign because he misled Vice-President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia. Harward met with top White House officials last week and has the backing of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Flynn’s ouster was a blow to a White House struggling to find its footing in Trump’s first weeks in office. Very un-American!”The president ignored shouted questions about whether his advisers were in touch with Russian officials. At about the same time, Pence learned that the Justice Department had warned the White House last month regarding Flynn’s conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Friday, February 17, 2017 Milani questioned over Ledo disappearanceFormer Army chief César Milani was questioned this week at the Tucumán Federal Appeals Court after the investigation of the forced disappearance of conscript Alberto Agapito Ledo in that province in 1976. According to Milani’s lawyer, the former Army chief said that he didn’t know Ledo and denied any wrongdoing. “Milani came to the court as he always did and gave an extensive explanation of the situation he experienced in those days. Milani is being investigated in Tucumán for the forced disappearance of conscript Ledo. Before the judge, Sanguinetti identified Milani, who signed a document declaring Ledo a deserter, when in fact he had been forcibly disappeared.