Bitter return, in Argentinafor the president Mileiafter the international tour that took him first to Israel and then to Italywhere he met the Dad, Giorgia Meloni And Sergio Mattarella. In Buenos Aires a crushing defeat awaited him, for him and for his party Freedom Advanceswhich led him to triumph at the Casa Rosada last November.

Its pompous Omnibus Law, 664 articles to “revolutionize the country”, was scuttled in Parliament, in a complex system of crossed vetoes, underground oppositions, palace games, promises and unkept agreements. On the bench of the “defendants”, the former president Mauricio Macriwho had offered a side to El Loco and who then “betrayed” him, missing the votes needed for approval in the Chamber. The scuttling of the law last week highlighted the government’s clear numerical inferiority, despite the good electoral result achieved by Milei on the ballot, and the need for his party to make broader and more solid agreements with sectors of the centre-right opposition.

The fact is that, having been stripped of many parts, softened and scaled down, the Omnibus had indeed overcome the obstacle of the vote in the Commissions, only to then crash against the wall of the Lower House, with the opposition votes aligned and united in ruining a measure monsters. A provision which, in the squares of the capital and in other Argentine cities, had sparked protests from a very large segment of society, practically half the country; the same one that Milei had accused of wanting to defend its privileges because it was linked to the Peronist past of failed governments and responsible for the collapse of state finances.

But Argentina makes its first financial surplus in twelve years

A bitter return to my homeland, as was said above. Yes, but with a significant positive note: Argentina has registered in January a financial surplus of 518,408 million of pesos (576 million euros), the country’s first positive result since August 2012 and, for the month of January, since 2011, according to data from the Ministry of Economy. In the first month of the year, Argentina recorded a primary surplus of 2,010 billion pesos (2,234 million euros), while total revenues reached 6,100 billion (6,830 million euros), with an increase of 256.7 % every year.

The president, therefore, takes action, does not give up and insists on his objective of healing a country that is exhausted, thanks to the preliminary advantage of being at the beginning of his mandate. Milei revealed that in June he might eliminate restrictions on US currencyfirst step towards dollarization of the economy. “If we finish cleaning up the remunerated liabilities of the Central Bank and carry out the financial reform, we can start,” the ultra-liberal leader said on the radio, claiming to have already had the green light from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). For the head of state, “the most difficult moment (for the economy) will be between March and April” and then, “when it hits bottom, it will start to recover”.

In response, various social organizations have announced for the February 22 a new protest against the government’s economic plan and to ask, among other requests, for the provision of community canteens and the delivery of school materials. The event will take place between 9am and 1pm in various points that connect the outskirts of Buenos Aires to the heart of the Argentine capital. On the other hand, negotiations continue between the government and the unions to find an agreement on new minimum wage vital and mobile; executive, entrepreneurs and unions could not even agree on the minimum and maximum amounts of unemployment benefits. It will therefore be the executive, according to union sources, who will define the increase by decree.

The CGT (General Confederation of Labor) denounced that the government “failed the meeting” with “the sole objective of boycotting any possibility of agreement” on the minimum wage, currently set at 156 thousand pesos (around 174 euros) and that we wanted to try to bring it to 288,600 pesos (about 322 euros). The leader of the CGT, Pablo Moyano, now does not rule out a new general strikeafter the one that took place on January 24th against deregulation promoted by the president. “Ours is not a permanent threat but social anger is destined to increase” argued Moyano.

The president lashes out against Gramsci and takes revenge against the governors of the Provinces

Yesterday Milei returned to denounce the influence had in Argentina by the communist philosopher and politician Antonio Gramsci, responsible, in his opinion, for an infiltration of socialism into the culture that he is now working to disarticulate. The tenant of the Casa Rosada argued that “Gramsci emphasized that, to implement socialism, it was necessary to introduce it through education, culture and the media. Argentina is a great example of this.” We, Milei concluded, “are here to put an end to a cultural architecture designed to support the model that benefits politicians.”

And it’s always yesterday’s news cancellation by the government of some of the 28 public trust funds created over the years as a financing instrument in favor of local authorities, to guarantee investments in public works. The provision, which may be approved by decree, can also be read as retaliation against the governors of the Provincespartly responsible for the scuttling of the Omnibus law.

According to government calculations – which has not yet indicated which and how many funds will be eliminated – the deposits represent an “expense” of over 2 billion dollars for state coffers, equal to half a percentage point of gross domestic product and “no one knows exactly how this money is actually used”. Trust funds represent a sort of secure income for the Provinces, through which the State ensures allocations for a year and, consequently, guarantees stability in the financing of public projects. The money is managed by provincial governors who have access to the fund. The measure had already been presented by the president in recent days as a necessary action to “eliminate black boxes”, which “lack transparency” and encourage “political favoritism”.

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