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Macri announces freeze in the price of basic goods and in public services

Thursday, April 18th 2019 - 09:44 UTC
Full article 15 comments

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri announced a freeze in the price of basic goods and public services on Wednesday in a bid to limit the impact of spiraling inflation that could hamper his re-election hopes in October. Hit by soaring prices due to inflation that reached almost 55% over the last 12 months, many Argentines have been calling for a change in economic policy. Read full article

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  • bushpilot

    “We're convinced we're going to win the battle against inflation,”

    From what little snippet of fiscal data did you arrive at that certainty?

    Fancy, hollow, election year verbage.

    This kind of politician bull-dung is even easier for a pol to throw out than a campaign “promise”. Even these guys don't dare to promise things about better inflation.

    Apr 18th, 2019 - 01:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    Good comment from BP above. In fact, nobody in today's Argentina, be it pro-government or opponents, gives a rat's arse anymore about what government officials say after over three years of being in charge of business.

    Interesting story MP offers:

    “Macri still heads the polls...Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has troubles of her own, embroiled in more than 10 separate corruption investigations.”

    Impressive! Fact? Macri does not longer head the polls. Argentines are not that dumb. Cristina has been shown as the front runner, even without declaring her candidacy.

    As for Cristina “more than 10 corruption investigations,” MP appears unaware of an investigation going on for months that is uncovering surprisingly connections among members of the judiciary, intelligence agents and journalists with two aims: Create false accusations against Kirchner government officials and CFK herself on one hand, and extort money from business people under threats of serving jail time -- guilty or not.

    MP readers wanting to know about this ongoing scandal may want to google “Marcelo D'Alessio” to learn about it.

    Apr 20th, 2019 - 03:16 am - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Jack Bauer

    Freezing prices won't work....the day you free them, repressed inflation will take off again....just need to see what happened in Brazil in 1986 (“Plano Cruzado”, under Sarney).

    Apr 20th, 2019 - 03:39 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    The advice Mauricio Macri must have received is, 'you got to do something or else.' His popularity with Argentine electors keeps going down as misery increases.

    As a result, the Argentine president decided to temporarily “alleviate” the needs of Argentines with measures more identified with Kirchnerist governments than his “market-friendly” approach.

    However, not one expects these half-baked measures to make a dent on the current stampede of price increases, which the Macri government intends to be “temporary,” to be in place -- disingenuously -- until the October election.

    Meanwhile, the D'AlessioGate affair continues to develop although some newspapers haven't yet taken notice.

    Time us running out for Macri.

    Apr 21st, 2019 - 02:33 am - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Jack Bauer

    EM
    “....the Argentine president decided to temporarily “alleviate” the needs of Argentines with measures more identified with Kirchnerist governments....”

    Sounds like an admission that you agree Kirchners also pissed out the pot....

    Apr 21st, 2019 - 10:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    @JB

    My comment may sound as such...but both contexts are entirely different.

    Not a single soul in the Cambiemos government believes in government's intervention in price formation. As a result, the so-called “alleviation” is a work of fiction, a half-cooked measure that nobody in the government expects to work.

    In any event, I do not believe Kirchnerists are error-free -- far from it. Nonetheless, you may have seen opinion polls show how electors are quickly switching support from Macri to CKF -- even when Cristina hasn't even declared whether she will run in the next election.

    This swing is just a reflection of how bad the current situation is -- that however CFK governed, Macri has long proven worse than every bad government in living memory.

    Sorry if that breaks your heart.

    Apr 22nd, 2019 - 02:16 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • bushpilot

    “you may have seen opinion polls show how electors are quickly switching support from Macri to CFK”

    I'd have expected any support for Macri would have been gone long ago.

    These polls would be interesting to read, but I'd not be able to find them because they are likely in spanish. I'd be able to read them though.

    Do you have links?

    Apr 22nd, 2019 - 02:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    EM
    “Not a single soul in the Cambiemos government believes in government's intervention in price formation”

    Neither do I, as I made quite clear (3rd post from the top). It was you who said his 'half-baked' measures were “more identified with Kirchnerist governments than his “market-friendly” approach”.

    Regarding “opinion polls showing how electors are quickly switching support from Macri to CKF ”, if they are anything like those published in Brazil 2nd half 2018, I wouldn't rush to conclusions....but if they are reliable, it makes one wonder if they really know what they want....rejecting Kirchnerism, after 12 years of it, and now they are ready to return to it ?
    Good luck with it.

    Don't worry, it doesn't break my heart....but tks for the concern.

    Apr 22nd, 2019 - 05:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @JB
    “Freezing prices won't work....the day you free them, repressed inflation will take off again”

    That's not a problem, he only wants to keep them low until after the election. Whatever happens afterwards, it will be too late for voters to change their minds.

    @bushpilot
    I'd guess he's referring to the poll done by Isonomia, but it doesn't seem to be online. This was the best I could find:

    https://www.lapoliticaonline.com/nota/118799-exclusivo-isonomia-ubica-a-cristina-ganando-el-ballotage-a-macri-por-nueve-puntos/

    Apr 22nd, 2019 - 06:20 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    DT
    I agree. Lies have short legs.

    Continuation of “1000s of followers...”

    In moments of uncertainty, everything slows down…people delay decisions (especially sizeable investments) until things are better defined…any economy is affected by it.

    But if tons of immigrants leave, demand for housing will be reduced, as well as prices.

    Nothing to do with housing prices, but if Brexit goes through, and immigrants want to leave, will the other EU countries just allow the ‘tons of immigrants’ to move in, w/o restriction?

    Well, with both of you in the same company, ‘n in the same office, all your eggs are in one basket…but that’s just how the cookie crumbles. But again, IF people move out, there’ll be less crowding…. and those that remain should become more valuable to the economy…not all bad. Besides, with your qualifications, if push comes to shove, wouldn’t you be better prepared to eventually take on some other activity, than someone with very little, or none ? Whatever happens, you’re still near the top of the pyramid.

    Just fyi, if interested have 2 replies ready to shoot off, (stories closed) 1) “B announces 13th salary”, and 2) “Bzl's lower house speaker”...

    Apr 22nd, 2019 - 06:51 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “but if Brexit goes through, and immigrants want to leave, will the other EU countries just allow the ‘tons of immigrants’ to move in, w/o restriction?”

    For those from EU countries, pretty much. There are some restrictions on free movement, you can't just move to another country and start claiming benefits, for example. But you can go to study, or to look for a job. Or they could go home, if the economy in Poland, Lithuania etc is doing better now. I don't think that many would leave though, cos quite a few are raising kids here and seem quite settled.

    I'd like the UK to be less crowded, but I suspect it would be painful getting there. And the main problem with jobs is not finding one at all but finding one nearby. I'm not too keen to move to a different area of the country and start again, but we could if we had to.

    Speaking of moving, perhaps we should move to a different forum, where comments aren't closing constantly. I posted on this story, you could stick one of your replies there:

    https://en.mercopress.com/2019/04/22/millionaire-comedian-elected-president-in-ukraine-defeats-establishment-candidate

    Apr 22nd, 2019 - 08:58 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    JB

    Here you are.

    On March 17, Clarin published results obtained by consultant Synopsis in which the party in power 31,6 per cent vote intention and the “opposition” received 54 per cent.

    By googling “sondeo,” “Cristina” and “Macri,” you may access other polls. Good reading.

    https://www.clarin.com/politica/encuesta-exclusiva-macri-cristina-espejo-balotajes-alternativos_0_YAelXF3Sl.html

    Apr 23rd, 2019 - 05:01 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    EM
    Thanks.
    Ok, so Macri's “cambiemos” rose to 31,6%, and the “opposition”, not necessarily CFK, grew to 54. But at this point, still too early to count one's chickens.

    Looks like Macri's performance in March was much the same, with very little variation in relation to February.
    People's main concern seems to be inflation, and most are somewhat pessimistic regarding the future.
    In the final voting scenarios, 6 with Macri and 2 without him : in the former scenario, Macri would beat CFK (although by a very small, insignificant margin), but in the latter, Macri's substitute (Vidal) would also beat CFK...and so would would Lavagna (IF he - presumably in the primaries - were to run against CFK).

    Remains to be seen if Macri (and CFK, for that matter) end up being the opposing candidates. What would happen without either ? and if the election put Vidal vs Lavagna ?

    Apr 24th, 2019 - 03:50 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    JB

    Agree that numerous variables must play out before the official list of candidates is closed and announced in June.

    Of course, one daily irritant is inflation, which -- as typical in Argentina -- can be very high even in the presence of recession.

    However, there is much more than inflation. Consumer confidence, domestic economic activity and other indicators give a grim picture and show a country increasingly paralyzed. The Macri government keeps blindly subscribing to the theory that you slow down inflation by raising interest rates, which kills businesses in need of credit.

    The latest theory of Macri & Co. is no longer that they can't cope with the “heavy inheritance” of the previous CFK government -- they now say the possibility of CFK winning the election is spooking the markets and preventing the government from making improvements.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Apr 24th, 2019 - 06:21 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    EM
    Seems you agree that external factors can influence internal affairs....which is almost unavoidable....but sometimes positively, sometimes negatively....to go into such detail is simply too much bother.....................................
    but going back to the thread “Argentina's inflation at 54,7%”, where space ran out b4 my ideas did, you said :

    “The question could also be completed by analyzing how much non-populist governments have improved the population's living conditions in Latin American countries”.
    Although you have answered MY question with another (which means you did not answer my original question) does not entirely invalidate your's.
    My short analysis - in that thread - basically points out that the military - a non-populist govt - did quite a bit (infrastrucure, jobs), and so did FHC (not exactly populist or non-populist, but with a definite socialist touch to it), were the only ones which made a difference....and I mean a “sustainable” difference, not house of cards, which just crumbles at the first sign of trouble.

    But going back to thread immy above, you are right - “damned if you do, damned if you don't”....in most cases, rumors distorted (press) reports etc, contribute to misinforming the public, and as we both know, most of the general public is not too smart (not only here, or in Argentina), and you can't expect them to see through the manipulation that goes on most of the time. IF people WERE able to see through the politicians, who are usually only interested in their own belly-buttons, most of the scum in power would never have got in.

    Apr 25th, 2019 - 07:43 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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