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Argentina: OECD Calls for Central Bank Autonomy as Macri Eyes Membership

Argentina’s central bank continues to make headlines regarding monetary policy and inflation, as well as its independence. The recent appointment of a new director, Enrique Szewach, added to this attention; he replaced Pedro Biscay, who had been removed for “misconduct.” Biscay had drawn the ire of President Mauricio Macri’s team for publicly deriding the administration’s

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Argentina: Dismissal of Central Bank Official Heightens Opposition Ire Against Macri

Last week Macri issued a decree firing Biscay (please see our Personality of the Week) for “poor conduct and violation of the obligations of prudence and responsibility in the position he occupies.” In addition, the decree – also signed by chief of staff Marcos Pena and Minister of Economy Nicolas Dujovne – stressed that Biscay’s

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Argentina: Stubbornly High Inflation Undercuts Central Bank Targets

As October midterms loom, inflation remains one of Argentines’ most pressing concerns. At the outset of 2017, some estimates projected inflation in Argentina to decline to 22% by the end of the year (compared to over 30% in recent years). At the same time, the central bank set an aggressive target of 12–17% by the

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Argentina: Playing the Long Game: Macri’s Reset with Chile

In addition to resetting the economy and removing Argentina’s standing as an international pariah, Macri took office intent upon rebuilding relations with other South American countries. This was perhaps most necessary with Chile, which still feels the sting from Argentina’s past severance of natural gas supplies. The visit to Chile at the end of June

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Argentina: New Polls: Kirchner’s Unidad Ciudadana Tied with Cambiemos Ahead of Midterms

On 1 July, Management and Fit, a credible local pollster, released the first midterm polls that include Unidad Ciudadana – a new bloc formed by former President Cristina Kirchner, who will run for a Senate seat from Buenos Aires province. According to the polls, Cambiemos’ ticket, led by Esteban Bullrich (see our Personality of the

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Argentina: She’s Back! Cristina Kirchner’s Senate Run Shakes Up Politics

Last week Kirchner announced the formation of a new political party, Unidad Ciudadana, which was a clear indication of her desire to run for office again. This week she publicly confirmed her Senate candidacy from Buenos Aires province – marking her return to popular electoral discussions, even though she still has a ways to go

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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