The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, announced on Tuesday that he sets the goal next March 31 to have defined the scenario in which the national economy is, something that is now not possible “because the weight of the debt is very large and conditions a lot. ”
“We have set a deadline (deadline) to be clear about the functioning of the economy, which is March 31. By then we will know how the situation is with the creditors. We will have data that we do not have today. Starting from that moment we are in a position to project everything, “said the president in statements to Continental Radio.
Fernández, who took office last December 10, in the midst of an already long recession and after winning the elections to Mauricio Macri in October (president between 2015 and 2019), said the Argentine economy is “full of surprises.”
“Unpaid debts appear everywhere, in all sectors of the Administration. Creditors who claim that the State has not paid … I want to know for sure what exactly the debt the State has,” he insisted.
For this he asked for “patience” until that last day of March, since today it is not defined “because the weight of the debt is very large and conditions a lot”.
NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE CREDITORS
According to data from the previous Executive, Argentina accumulates a total public debt of 314,315 million dollars – compared to 240,000 million at the end of 2015 -, of which almost 44,000 correspond to the 56,300 million loan agreed with the International Monetary Fund in 2018, after Unleashing an abrupt devaluation of the peso that resulted in the current crisis.
“People have to understand that we are working to reassure the economy, to get it out of that feeling we all had that we did not know what would happen tomorrow,” said the Peronist politician, whose government is already studying how to pay the high debt, which must renegotiate before the creditors.
In this regard, he declined to give details of those conversations.
“Do not ask me to go ahead because that is a negotiation and nobody is going to play cards counting the cards he has,” he acknowledged, and reiterated that everything his team is doing “is planned” and has “no improvisation” .
Fernández’s first major decision after arriving at the Presidency, in addition to establishing by decree the double compensation for dismissal for six months, was to promote a “public emergency” law, which includes a large package of measures and taxes with which the new Government seeks to face the crisis and which sectors of the opposition have labeled “adjustment.”
“The adjustment what is it ?, to put in order the public accounts? Yes. And if so we made an adjustment. The problem is who paid the adjustment. The adjustment was not paid by those who have less, paid by those who are in better situation, those who can export, those who have more goods than the rest. People are not paying it, “he said.
Among the measures included in the new law is the so-called “for an inclusive and solidarity Argentina” tax, which taxes the purchase of foreign currencies at a rate of 30% and expenses that are not in pesos inside and outside the country, which hardens the “stocks” exchange already imposed by Macri in his last months of Government.
“People get angry about the dollar tax, but the dollar in Argentina is a good. People, as a doubt of the pesos, go to the dollar. And that’s fine. It’s a long story and it is not going to change culturally. Overnight. (…) The dollar is a good and there is not. What happens when the goods are missing? They are very expensive, “he explained.
“The stocks have to continue because there are no dollars in Argentina. We did not put it, Macri put it, after letting 70,000 million dollars go away. I have always criticized the stocks. We are seeing Martín (Guzmán, the Minister of Economy ) to see what alternatives we have so that it does not affect investments, “he added.
INFLATION THAT DOESN’T STOP
On high inflation (which exceeds 50% year-on-year), Fernández assumed that one of the big problems is “self-built inflation,” that is, “that it really does not exist but that some to prevent prices increase in the face of doubt.”
“And we all pay for that price increase and that is really unbearable, it cannot be admitted,” he criticized, convinced that the one who loses is the “common citizen”, before “an unnecessary gain that someone is taking for the doubts.” “Argentina is a country with a tremendous inflationary history,” he said.
Fernández stressed that “it is not about setting prices,” but “seeing that the profits and profits are reasonable,” and hoped that the Senate ends up giving a final sanction to the so-called “Gondola Law”, which will allow the citizen “Access products that large supermarkets hide to benefit other more expensive products.”
With this scenario, the president asked the businessmen not to increase prices “above the reasonable” and assume “social responsibilities”, since the opposite is that the State “intervenes”. “And when the State intervenes, they complain,” he said.
“If we give predictability and confidence (…) little by little, investments will come. (…) For example, dollar deposits are going up, from people who had gone out of distrust and are now coming back. Everything is going to be gradual, “he concluded.