Court lifts recess: Cristina Fernandez resumes battle with Clarin and farmers
Argentina’s Civil and Commercial Court decided to lift the January judicial recess as requested by the administration of President Cristina Fernandez and also granted the cautionary measure appeal to the Argentine Rural Society (SRA) that blocks the presidential decree over the taking over of La Rural grounds in Palermo neighbourhood.
After an intense debate, court members Francisco de las Carreras, Ricardo Guarinoni and Graciela Medina decided to lift the traditional Judicial recess held in January, as they approved the measure presented by the SRA last Wednesday.
Simultaneously, the court accepted the Government's request to set celerity to the treatment of the Media Law, which means that those controversial articles (45 and 161) that hinder its application may be declared constitutional and thus the Clarin group could be forced to divest from all those licences above a cap established by the bill.
Last December 14, Judge Horacio Alfonso had ruled that the questioned articles were constitutional and ordered to rule out the injunction presented by the Clarín Group, but the Civil Court ordered instead the extension of the injunction after Alfonso's ruling was appealed.
Last week the Argentine Supreme Court said that until the Civil and Commercial Court rules on the matter, the Clarin group injunction stands.
The Cristina Fernandez administration made a dual presentation, one by cabinet chief Manuel Abal Median and another by the Audiovisual Communications regulator, Afcsa, headed by Martin Sabbatella.
In the case of the Palermo grounds famous for the annual agro-show, the ruling suspends the eviction on 20 January established by a decree signed by Cristina Fernandez, and there can be no innovation in the matter until the validity of the expropriation decree is decided.
SRA argued that decree 2552 was unconstitutional because there was no expropriation involved and the government must first inform the courts of its intention.
The decree simply declared the annulment of the Palermo grounds sale which took place in 1991 under the government of President Carlos Menem.