Mulling moderation

The Macri administration can give all the explanations it wants. The Macri administration knew that it had to deal with a problem once the poverty rate was officially announced. Prat-Gay said the meeting between the trade union leaders and the ministers was unprecedented. Purportedly the government now wants to sit the trade unions and business leaders down at a negotiating-table to discuss wage hikes and other labour issues. Reportedly preaching moderation is Pope Francis, who is often locally described as “Peronist” and has many contacts with trade union leaders.

October 02, 2016 02:37 UTC

Debt rising to cover current account spending

The total issued this year stands at US$19.25 billion, with US$9.3 billion used to reimburse the aforementioned holdout vulture funds. A reasonable limitFor UBA economist Mariano Kestelboim, foreign debt “must be linked to the country’s ability to export and more importantly, its current account balance.” Currently, he addded, that balance is negative, with the deficit clocking in at three percent of GDP last year. The limit isn’t a number, but rather the capability a government has to channel debt to economic and socially profitable investments, Colina argued. More than one way to buildAlthough the initial justification that this year’s issuing spree would be directed at public works wasn’t entirely accurate — much went toward current account spending — it’s worth considering if foreign debt is the only way to boost public works and infrastructure. That’s the radical difference that explains why these countries can tolerate far higher foreign debt debt-to-GDP levels than Argentina, whose foreign debt clearly isn’t peso-denominated.

October 02, 2016 02:12 UTC

Political poverty

The legendary “lie, lie, that something will remain” quote attributed to Nazi spin-doctors only brings public figures into the short-term trap of tomorrow morning papers rather than tomorrow’s history books. Take the case of Argentina and its poverty figures; which were published this week by the Indec statistics bureau after three years in the dark. The administration of former President Cristina Kirchner knew that it was lying about the poverty figures, and decided to just believe its own lie. Faced with a bad economy and a political defeat in 2009, the Kirchner government sought a creative (and cash-happy) solution to its political weakness and launched the AUH child benefit program, which improved poverty numbers by hiking the monthly income of underprivileged families, which also boosting the government’s political standing, which ultimately resulted in a landslide reelection victory two years later. The new Indec poverty figures subtly modified the way the basic food basket is calculated – which is in itself good but skews the comparison through time.

October 01, 2016 03:11 UTC

Coast Guards detained for abuse

Three arrested, four turn themselves in Saturday, October 1, 2016 Coast Guards detained for abuseSeven officers held in connection with torture allegations against youths in Villa 21Three Coast Guard officers have been arrested and another four turned themselves over in connection with the abuse of two teenagers in the low-income Villa 21 last Saturday, the community magazine La Garganta Poderosa has reported. Right after the Federal Police stopped and frisked the youths, they were then intercepted again by 20 Coast Guard officers who were in five patrol cars. Yesterday Garganta Poderosa posted on social media, writing that four Coast Guard officers had turned themselves in to the authorities. Remarkably, the teens had also reported that Coast Guard Leandro Adolfo Antúnez, one of the alleged torturers, watched as they entered the district attorney’s office. The human rights organization complained there hasn’t been any serious reforms of police practices or arbitrary arrests for at least two decades.

October 01, 2016 03:11 UTC

Peres funeral, attended by Obama, briefly brings Israeli, Palestinian leaders together

Israeli and Palestinian leaders shook hands during a brief chat and US President Barack Obama gently reminded them of the "unfinished business of peace" at the funeral Friday of Shimon Peres, the last of a generation of Israel's founding fathers. But there was no indication that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's rare visit to Jerusalem and the amiable words he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exchanged would lead to any movement in long-stalled peacemaking. Netanyahu and Abbas have not held face-to-face talks since 2010. Abbas opted to attend Peres's funeral, making the short drive from nearby Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, through Israeli military checkpoints. Welcoming Abbas, as participants recorded the encounter on their mobile phones, Netanyahu said of the Palestinian leader's attendance: "It's something that I appreciate very much on behalf of our people and on behalf of us."

September 30, 2016 11:15 UTC



The Indy Guide to Literary Festival FILBA

FILBA, the International Festival of Literature in Buenos Aires, runs from 28th September-2nd October and is set to be an action-packed five days filled with panels, interviews, readings and performances. It’s the eighth edition of the festival and is on its second run after taking place in Montevideo last week. Figueroa Alcorta 3415) and The Cultural Centre La Abadía (Gorostiaga 1908). One of the most prominent authors appearing at the festival is Scotsman Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting. Other highlights of the festival include silent reading parties, poetry on the subte and music events.

September 28, 2016 14:37 UTC

ATE strike raises stakes

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 ATE strike raises stakesThousands of state workers, teachers and health workers marched through central Buenos Aires City yesteday during a nationwide strike organized by the ATE, CTERA and Conadu unions. We are the teachers that have been fighting since the 1980s,” said the Confederation of Education Workers of the Argentine Republic (CTERA) leader Sonia Alesso. He insisted that the ruling Let’s Change coalition was trying to champion the neoliberal economic policies of the 1990s by shrinking government agencies and mistreating the state workers. The leader of SUTEBA, the Buenos Aires province teachers union, Roberto Baradel, said the reason for the strike was primarily the loss of purchasing power that the workers’ salaries were suffering. Catalano added that inflation had eaten up 11 percent of workers’ salaries, making yesterday’s protest the only alternative.

September 28, 2016 04:42 UTC

House arrest order for ESMA officer revoked

Former navy offical Juan Carlos Rolón Wednesday, September 28, 2016 House arrest order for ESMA officer revokedThe Criminal Cassation Courthouse No. 2 has revoked house arrest for dictatorship-era criminal Juan Carlos Rolón, a former navy officer who was part of the Ex-ESMA death squads and is facing a life sentence for crimes against humanity committed during the rule of the military juntas (1976-1983). “The court had reviewed the house arrest procedures without taking into account the legal parameters, or analyzing the circumstances of the incident (related to their state of health or demands of the case),” the Cassation Court said. However, he was indicted in the third ESMA mega-trial . After that ruling was annulled by the Cassation Court, he was ordered to continue being held in custody during the third ESMA mega-trial which is currently ongoing.

September 28, 2016 03:14 UTC

Trump pushed on to defensive after debate

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 Trump pushed on to defensive after debateRALEIGH, North Carolina — A defensive Donald Trump Donald Trump gave Hillary Clinton plenty of fresh material for the next phase of her presidential campaign yesterday, choosing to publicly reopen and relitigate some her most damaging attacks in the wake of the first US presidential debate between the two of the campaign. On Monday night, Trump brushed off Clinton’s debate claim that he’d once shamed a former Miss Universe winner for her weight. But then he dug deeper the next day — extending the controversy over what was one of his most negative debate night moments. Both campaigns knew the first debate could mark a turning point six weeks before Election Day with Trump and Clinton locked in an exceedingly close race. “That makes me smart,” was Trump’s coy response in the debate, but yesterday, Clinton insisted it was nothing to brag about.

September 28, 2016 03:13 UTC

INDEC: economy shrank 5.9% in July

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 INDEC: economy shrank 5.9% in JulyMost severe contraction in 14 years, based on annual comparison, led by constructionThe economy registered its most severe contraction in almost 14 years in July, shrinking by 5.9 percent when compared with the same month last year, the INDEC statistics bureau announced yesterday — a steeper decline than even the gloomiest estimates. The news casts a further shadow over the government’s economic plans, which has struggled to kickstart the economy. INDEC pinpointed the chief negative factors as lower consumer demand and industrial production (with manufacturing output down 7.9 percent). The numbers were drawn from the EMAE monthly index of economy activity. Trade surplus reportedGreater exports and a reduction in imports to Argentina resulted in a trade surplus of US$ 705 million in August according to the Indec statistics bureau.

September 28, 2016 03:11 UTC

England boss sacked after newspaper sting

Soccer Wednesday, September 28, 2016 England boss sacked after newspaper stingSam Allardyce, who was sacked yesterday due to inapropiate behaviour, during the stadium visit in Slovakia. LONDON — Sam Allardyce was sacked as England manager yesterday having behaved “inappropriately” when seeking a lucrative sideline role while talking to undercover reporters, bringing a crushing end to his dream job after one match and 67 days in charge. The 61-year-old’s fall from grace was swift after he was summoned to a meeting with new FA chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn to discuss overnight revelations from an undercover sting set up by Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper. “Allardyce’s conduct was inappropriate of the England manager,” the FA said in a statement. He was appointed England manager in July following the departure of Roy Hodgson after this year’s poor showing by England at the European Championship and has overseen only the 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Slovakia.

September 28, 2016 03:11 UTC

New faces in town

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 New faces in townPresident Mauricio Macri (right) received credentials from five new ambassadors to Argentina at the Pink House yesterday, including the freshly appointed ambassador from Brazil, Ergio França Danese (left), who was appointed after Michel Temer became the Brazilian president earlier this year following the controversial impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff. The meeting coincided with confirmation that Temer will lead a Brazilian delegation to Buenos Aires in an official visit next Monday. Macri has prioritized improving economic ties with Brazil since his election. His first foreign visit as president-elect was to Brazil, meeting then-president Rousseff, while the Let’s Change (Cambiemos) government was among the first worldwide to acknowledge Temer as the president of Brazil, in stark contrast to other regional states including Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Finnish Ambassador Teemu Tahvana Turunen, French Ambassaor Pierre-Henri Guignard, Czech Ambassador Karel Beran, and Swedish Ambassador Barbro Elm also presented their letters of credence yesterday.

September 28, 2016 03:06 UTC

US and us

This strange combination of a highly linear relationship with Washington and multilateralism has its explanations. Five years earlier, Néstor Kirchner had taken office amid of the devastating consequences of the Washington Consensus. The complex world which Macri inhabits does not offer the same clarity — US hegemony now seems gone but the BRICS are also struggling. Perhaps Macri’s willingness to be all things to all men also reflects having a foreign minister who is trying to become United Nations secretary-general. Lew’s flying visit had little time for surprises, hardly departing from the expected script with support for Macri’s tax amnesty very much on the front-burner.

September 28, 2016 03:00 UTC

Battle over gas rate hikes returns to courts

They added that the decision urged the ENARGAS national regulator to roll back all hiked rates for natural gas for SMEs to March 31 levels and that they remain “unaltered” until December 27. Soon after being sworn in as energy minister, Aranguren laid the groundwork for massive hikes to energy bills including natural gas and topping 400 percent in some cases. Following the hearings, new rates “averaging 203 percent” increases to natural gas bills were agreed upon and due to come into effect in October. The decision came just weeks after San Martín Federal Judge Martina Isabel Forns blocked all electricity hikes issued by Aranguren and the energy ministry along similar lines to those applying to natural gas. As with the natural gas hearings, the government vowed to hold public consultations over the frozen electricity hikes and these are due in precisely one month’s time, starting on October 28.

September 28, 2016 03:00 UTC

Appeals court declines to reopen Nisman complaint

He added that the DAIA respected court decisions but that “we know our rights.” Rafecas had denied the DAIA the status of plaintiff in the case, a decision also confirmed by the appeals court. Earlier this year the DAIA had urged Rafecas to reopen Nisman’s complaint about an alleged plan by CFK to cover up Iran’s involvement in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires. Rafecas dismissed the Nisman complaint in February 2015, sparking a round of appeals and dismissals that concluded when a prosecutor before the Cassation Court declined to advance the complaint and judges agreed that there was nothing else to be done with it. Judges ruleBallestero, noting that the same court ruled that the MOU with Iran was unconstitutional but not criminal in nature, cited himself in yesterday’s ruling. In a shorter text, Freiler also agreed with Rafecas’s decision to not re-open the case based on the MOU and audio recordings.

September 28, 2016 03:00 UTC



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