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Sat Dec 21, 2019, 04:30 PM

Argentine Congress approves Fernandez recovery bill

Argentina's Senate passed President Alberto Fernández's sweeping emergency economic package in the early hours of Saturday morning, which the new leader hopes will drag Argentina out of crisis.

It is Fernández's first legislative victory since he took office on December 10, after defeating Mauricio Macri in the presidential election amid the worst economic and debt crisis in two decades.

The Social Solidarity and Productive Recovery Bill passed early Saturday by 41 to 23, after its passage in the Lower House on Friday by 134 to 110.

Fernández's center-left 'Front for All' was joined by a handful of dissident Peronists and by lawmakers from minor parties - but former President Macri's right-wing 'Let's Change' remained unified in their opposition.

In both houses, 'Let's Change' attempted to deny the bill quorum - albeit unsuccessfully.

The sweeping legislative package includes increasing wealth taxes from 0.25% to 1.5% for the highest bracket, increases of 5.3% in most farm export taxes, a 30% surcharge on foreign currency purchases - a major vehicle for capital flight.

But the bill also includes subsidized credit for business and farms, eliminating taxes on time deposits (a popular middle class investment), a 6-month freeze in utility rates (which rose over 2000% under Macri), and new social benefits including bonuses for low-income retirees and a food card - similar to an EBT card - for the poorest two million households.

Twin economic and debt crises inherited from Macri have pushed income poverty rates from 28% in 2017 to nearly 41% currently.

Fernández faces a $195 billion public foreign debt - much of which has been in default since September - 52% inflation, and a 7.4% fall in GDP since the crisis began in April 2018.

At: https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/fernandezs-economic-emergency-law-wins-approval-in-senate.phtml

Argentine President Alberto Fernández examines a draft of his Social Solidarity and Productive Recovery Bill, passed by Congress early this morning.

Fernández's bill seeks to stimulate economic growth, while reining in deficits with higher taxes on the wealthy, currency trade, and large agroexporters - the biggest beneficiaries under the previous Macri administration.

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Reply Argentine Congress approves Fernandez recovery bill (Original post)
sandensea Dec 21 OP
Judi Lynn Dec 21 #1
sandensea Dec 22 #2

Response to sandensea (Original post)

Sat Dec 21, 2019, 09:09 PM

1. Wonderful name to give this desperately needed, well-construct plan. So much thought went into it,

not greed. What a departure.

Wonderful seeing the "Let's Change" people took a swift one in the legislatures. I hope it hurt.

What a nightmare they took upon themselves just running for office. It took so much courage, but it also took intelligence in seeing there's a path through that tidal wave of hardship from Hell.

Thank you for this beautiful opening to the future for people who have deserved so very much more than the suffering Macri handed out to them, while he and his cronies stuffed their own accounts, and planned their escapes.

A lot to look forward to, we are hoping, every day, now.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 22, 2019, 12:21 AM

2. Sure, Judi. They'd do more if they could - but they don't want the budget deficit to get out of hand

Next on the agenda: raising pensions, restoring the 'Remediar' prescription discount for seniors (rescinded by Macri in 2017), and limiting "privilege" pensions.

These are accorded to former senior officials (former presidents, former ambassadors, etc.) and in some cases exceed 20 times a basic pension of $223 monthly (a 50% decline from 4 years ago).

So much to do; so little time - and money.

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