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Montevideo, July 23rd 2024 - 06:30 UTC



Petro opens arms to free-ride students targeted by Argentine bill

Saturday, December 30th 2023 - 11:16 UTC
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On the domestic front, Petro wants local companies to “free themselves” to compete and be more productive On the domestic front, Petro wants local companies to “free themselves” to compete and be more productive

Colombian President Gustavo Petro Friday announced on social media that his government would assist some 20,000 nationals from his country who might be affected by Argentine President Javier Milei's proposed austerity measures regarding spending cuts including an end to tuition-free studies for non-resident foreigners.

Milei's bill to Congress this week would contemplate such a measure but still needs Parliamentary approval. Yet, Petro took one user's posting on X as a done deal and replied accordingly.

Colombia will receive “20,000 Colombian students who were being educated free of charge in Argentina and are literally expelled from that country, for them there was no so-called 'freedom'” he wrote. Even if the bill is approved, the students would not be expelled; just charged for what they receive unless they become legal residents.

Petro pledged that his government would see to it “so that they can continue their studies in Colombia without major obstacles and also free of charge.”

On the domestic front, Petro said he was willing to discuss with local businessmen the possibility of making changes to his tax reform aimed at “raising the country's productive activity.”

”I invite the business community to discuss the possibility of reforming the tax reform, I think it is time to see its impacts (...) and see it in the face of production. The reform has been radically transformed by judicial decisions (...) but in order to increase the productive activity of the country it needs to be re-examined,“ said Petro during a press conference.

Petro insisted any further steps needed to be taken ”without defunding the state and without thinking of higher taxes, lowering the corporate income rate, that is to say, the one paid by companies, and raising the income of individuals in its highest levels.“

The president's idea is that companies ”free themselves” to compete and be more productive.

Petro's reform was approved by Congress in November last year albeit with a smaller scope from the Government's original plan seeking some US$ 6.441 billion at today's exchange rate to be allocated mainly to social spending.

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