The former president of Argentina Cristina Fernández (2007-2015), current vice president of the country, debuted Friday as head of the Senate in an extraordinary session in which the Government seeks to pass a law declaring the "public emergency" to face the recession.
Today is the first full of the Senate after the assumption, on December 10, of Alberto and Cristina Fernández as president and vice president of the country, where whoever holds the Vice Presidency also holds the title of the Upper House.
The widow of former president Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) already knows this body well because she has been a senator for several periods.
As an anecdote, at the beginning of the plenary, and after being called "president" by the head of the official bloc, José Mayans, Fernández rectified saying: "president, sorry, senator, president."
In the session, which was scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m. local time (5:00 p.m. GMT) but was delayed for more than two hours, the Social Solidarity and Productive Reactivation bill will be discussed, which the Executive urgently sent this week to Congress and that This morning, after more than 15 uninterrupted hours of debate, he already received the approval of the Chamber of Deputies.
The text is expected to be definitely approved, since the ruling party has an absolute majority in the Senate.
The initiative includes measures such as the creation and increase of various taxes, revision of public service tariffs, suspension of the adjustment of pensions to reformulate the pension system and the delegation of special powers to the Executive to face the emergency until the end of 2020.
Argentina, in recession since April 2018, carries high inflation (prices rose 52.1% year-on-year in November) and high levels of poverty (expected to be around 40% of the population at the end of the year).
One of the points that most attracts attention in the project is the imposition of the "country" tax (for an inclusive and supportive Argentina) that will be taxed at a rate of 30% and for five years the purchase of foreign currencies for savings and purchases Outside with cards.
Of the 72 seats in the Upper House, the interblock that groups the Peronist sectors – headed by the Front of All – is the majority with 39 senators, two more than the absolute majority; followed by that of the opponent Together for Change, with 28 and 5 for other parties.
The main opposition group voted against the Chamber of Deputies when considering that the project is a strong adjustment, gives a blank check to the Government and does not respond to the real situation in the country.
Amid the urgency for the economic situation, on December 12, just two days after taking office, the Government convened extraordinary sessions of Congress during the December vacation break to discuss three bills, including this one to face the "economic emergency".
In a presidential decree, Fernández called for sessions between 13 and 31 of this month, a period that usually coincides with the holiday period of the Chambers of Deputies and Senators for the southern summer, which culminates on March 1 with the solemn opening of sessions by the head of state.
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