By: Steve Dellar | 09-03-2018 | News
Photo credit: Mercopress

Argentina - President Macri Declares ‘Emergency’ As Panic Sets In

When he took over three years ago from former President Ms Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (who by now has been accused of leading a criminal ring that took bribes, including through extortion, from construction companies in public works projects), Mr Mauricio Macri faced a daunting task. At the time, European economists stated that 25% of the Argentineans paid taxes and the other 75% profited from it. An untenable situation.

But after being able to construct an economic return to growth and a surprisingly strong performance by his centre-right coalition in midterm elections, many believed Mr Macri was set up for an easy win in the presidential elections next year.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The peso has slumped 50 percent this year. Argentina&#39;s president is getting desperate <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Bloomberg Opinion (@bopinion) <a href="">September 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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However, the events of last week, which have seen Argentina’s peso take over from Turkey the title of world’s worst performing currency in 2018, his re-election in 10 months from now looks less certain.

In a television address today, President Macri, who looked anything but relaxed, did not specify what measures the government would take but admitted that the country faced an "emergency" (never a good word for any president when you have to describe the economy).

Related coverage: <a href=""> Argentina - Economic Meltdown As Currency Collapses - IMF To The Rescue?</a>.

One of the first things he announced was an export tax, stating: "we are going to ask those who have more capacity to contribute, I mean those who export in Argentina, that their contribution is greater."

"We must continue to make every effort to balance the accounts of the State."

With a Latin America that looks like it’s in total crisis (Brazil faces an uncertain election, Venezuela an immigration and inflation crisis and major South American companies like Odebrecht and Petrobras face financial ruin because of corruption charges), to have the third largest economy slip into disarray is not the best situation.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Argentina imposes austerity measures in bid to stabilise peso. &quot; President Mauricio Macri said Argentina could not keep spending more than it earned. The government said the move was necessary to reassure international investors&quot;. <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Zoraida Sánchez (@Zoraida14_San) <a href="">September 3, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Argentineans are overly worried. Most still recall the events of 2001, the last time the IMF visited when the “Argentinazo” crisis occurred. Back then, the government faced a similar situation and had forbidden the withdrawal of funds from banks for Argentineans (except for the rich classes who had been able to get their money out of the country during the weekend).

The Argentinean population revolted in the streets, and 39 people were killed in the protests that followed.


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1 Comment/s
Anonymous No. 36061 2018-09-04 : 10:10

Since 1970's Argentina has had a lot of Economic and Social issues.

They need their version of a Trump down there to get them straight.

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