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Member since: Tue Dec 30, 2014, 06:11 PM
Number of posts: 5,902

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New Uruguay leader takes over from pot-friendly farmer.

Tabaré Vázquez was sworn in as President of Uruguay Sunday, returning to office a decade after first leading the left to power and drawing a curtain on folksy farmer José Mujica's colorful rule.

Mujica, a former guerrilla fighter known for legalizing marijuana, gay marriage and abortion, handed the presidential sash back to his predecessor and Broad Front (FA) party colleague, reversing their roles from five years ago in this country that bars presidents from serving consecutive terms.

Vázquez, an oncologist with a more buttoned-down style than the outspoken Mujica, won 53.6% of the vote in a November 30 presidential run-off, reclaiming the office he previously held from 2005 to 2010.

After taking the oath of office before the National Assembly, he called for dialogue on issues facing the country, at a moment when the parties that long dominated Uruguayan politics, the Blancos (Whites) and Colorados (Reds), are reeling from a string of FA victories.

At: http://news.yahoo.com/uruguay-leader-vazquez-takes-over-pot-friendly-farmer-144354178.html

Restructured foreign debt bonds from Argentina quote above their nominal value.

Published March 1, 2015

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner hailed the fact that restructured Argentine foreign debt bonds “quote today above their nominal value, despite the attack launched by the vulture funds against the State and the economy of our country, with the support of some domestic sectors of the Argentine political leadership”.

The President made the remark in her lengthy inaugural speech of the 133rd Congressional session. “Our country is the only one that managed to decrease its foreign debt - by 11 percent," she added. Referring to the information, President Cristina Kirchner quoted words of Joseph Cotterill, a Financial Times journalist, who Tweeted last Friday: “Argentina finally made it: Argentina's 2033 restructured bonds are trading above par."

At: http://www.telam.com.ar/english/notas/201503/4425-the-restructured-foreign-debt-bonds-quote-above-their-nominal-value.html


When Paulie Singer finally descends to Hell, the radio in his cell will run this speech on a continuous loop. He doesn't speak a word of Spanish, true; but he'll have plenty of time to learn. And if he tries to turn it off, a Caesar's bouncer will make sure he won't (http://nypost.com/2014/11/26/paul-singer-looks-to-send-caesars-to-bankruptcy/).

Argentine Gov't moves to nationalize railways

Source: Buenos Aires Herald

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced that the Executive Power will sponsor a bill to nationalize the country’s railways during her speech at the opening of the 133th congressional period.

“I would like to tell all lawmakers that I will deliver a bill for the State to recover the management of Argentina’s railways,” Ms. Kirchner said. “I am not moved by a nationalization zeal. It is simply about improving efficiency.” “We will save additional 415 million pesos ($48 million),” she vowed.

Read more: http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/183239/govt-moves-to-nationalize-railways

Argentina's railways - at 21,000 mi the most extensive in Latin America - were privatized by way of operating concessions 20 years ago. While most freight lines were kept running, all but 6,000 mi or so of commuter rail services were discontinued.

They were privatized gratis because the rationale at the time (heartily endorsed by the IMF and AEI types) was that privatizations would free the state from the rail system's $1-2 million in daily losses - but by 2011 "privatized" rail required $4 million in daily subsidies, with no improvement in quality and 100,000 laid off employees to boot. Numerous lines were already renationalized (i.e. the concessions rescinded) in 2013, and services in these lines have improved dramatically. This announcement just finishes a job long overdue.
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