Uruguayan mayors along the country's western border have expressed their concern to President Luis Lacalle Pou as the informal exchange rate between the Argentine peso and the US dollar renders local businesses unprofitable since consumers do their shopping across the line.
Lacalle reportedly discussed the issue with Economy Minister Azucena Arbeleche, but the measures adopted were deemed insufficient.
We are aware of the situation of Salto and Paysandú; of many places, but above all of Salto and Paysandú, Lacalle told reporters. We have been meeting with the chairman of the Shopping Center of Salto and with local authorities, he added.
”Unfortunately, we have a neighbor (Argentina) that has a certain economic situation, and that generates derisory prices with respect to the cost of some products in Uruguay,” he added, although he admitted Uruguay would not be able to match Argentina's costs.
Uruguayans have been offered some benefits such as the discount on the Internal Specific Tax (IMESI) on gasoline, which in May was upped to 30%, but those still consider it to be insufficient and demanded other solutions. They suggested residents of cities bordering Argentina be given VAT discounts on different products and complement them with rebates in the different distribution sectors through the Banco República app, among other initiatives.
According to Uruguayan migration authorities; 91,462 Uruguayans; 15,830 Argentines; 4,320 Brazilians, and 438 Chileans left the country during last weekend, mainly through Fray Bentos. The checkpoint recorded 27,414 exits between Sept.16 and 19, followed by Salto's 25,301, Paysandú's 22,825, and Colonia's 17,684. Montevideo's Carrasco International Airport saw off 9,626 passengers and the port of Montevideo serviced 4,438 departing passengers.
On the other hand, 67,556 people entered the country: 42,528 Uruguayans, 12,999 Argentines, 7,094 Brazilians, and 745 Chileans, with Colonia accounting for most of the traffic with 14,244 people followed by Fray Bentos with 12,473, Salto with 11,954, and Paysandú with 11,767. Arrivals at Carrasco were 7,254 passengers and 3,261 at the port of Montevideo.