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Argentina: Macri and Labor Unions: Tensions Rise Ahead of Midterms

On 16 June important salary negotiations between the truck drivers’ labor union, transport employers and the government began under considerable tension. Union leader Hugo Moyano (see our Personality of the Week) requested a 32% salary increase for truck drivers, far above the 18-20% band the government has suggested. Unsurprisingly, the business establishment was angered by

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Argentina: Odebrecht Scandal Arrives, Casting Shadows Over Politicians

As a presidential candidate in 2015, Macri emphasized the perils of a corrupt administration and its negative impacts on the nation. In this light, he repeatedly decried manipulated data issued by the national statistics agency (INDEC) and former President Cristina Kirchner, as well as her cabinet and allies. By contrast, Macri promised to clean up

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Argentina: Another Kirchner in Crisis: Unrest in Santa Cruz Province

A deepening social and economic crisis in the southern province of Santa Cruz has grabbed public attention in Argentina. The drama is particularly notable because Governor Alicia Kirchner (see our Personality of the Week), an ally and sister-in-law of former President Cristina Kirchner, is in the spotlight. The root of Santa Cruz’s crisis is a

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Argentina: The Supreme Court’s “Two-for-One” Decision: Implications for the Midterms

The Argentine Supreme Court decided on 3 May that Luis Muina (see our Personality of the Week), a former officer sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2011 for his involvement in torture and kidnapping during the country’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship, is eligible to be released. In a narrow three-two decision, the court decided that

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Argentina: Governor Vidal: The “Iron Lady” of Buenos Aires

The first non-Peronist to be elected governor of Buenos Aires province in almost 30 years, Maria Eugenia Vidal is a rising political star in Argentina. After serving as deputy mayor in Macri’s government in the city of Buenos Aires, Vidal came to office on the same wave that swept her political mentor to power in

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Argentina: Macri Investigation: Attorney General of the Treasury Resigns

On 21 April, Attorney General of the Treasury Carlos Balbin resigned his position without providing an explanation. To replace him, Bernardo Saravia Frias (see our Personality of the Week), will move up in the ministry of economy from the post of legal and technical secretary. According to local media, the government subsequently offered Balbin a

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Argentina: Feud at the Energy Ministry: Will Anything Change?

Since taking office, President Mauricio Macri has heavily focused on Argentina’s energy sector, particularly as his government continues on a path to regain investor confidence and remove the country’s international stigma. Indeed, a key goal has been to reverse a plunge in energy production, which resulted in shortages and a surge in imports, by confronting

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Argentina: Successful Tax Amnesty Gives Macri Some Breathing Room

According to an official announcement last week, $116bn in assets have been declared to government authorities following the decision by the Macri administration to initiate a tax amnesty program last year. Most of the assets declared had been in banks in the US, Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands. The amount of newly declared assets

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Argentina: Strikes Cast Shadow Over News of Economic Growth

The building unrest in Argentina that began with workers and teachers’ strikes just after school resumed from the summer holidays reached a crescendo this week with a major general strike that crippled Buenos Aires and other parts of the country. A wide range of workers left their jobs for 24 hours and wreaked havoc across

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Argentina: “Christmas in March”: Economy No Longer in Recession

Just as the Southern Hemisphere heads toward winter, President Mauricio Macri received a jolt of good news – a Christmas gift in March – regarding the trajectory of the Argentine economy. Figures released by INDEC, the national statistics agency, pointed to GDP growth in Q4 2016. INDEC also revised its figures to show the economy