Southern Exposure

Desde as Entranhas dos Labirintos Latinos.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Argentine Miscellany

As we anticipated yesterday, the Congress has approved the extension of the Economic Emergency Law until December 2004. Besides fixing the ground rules for the painful post-convertibility transition (which played havoc with the banking system and savings), the law gives President Kirchner powers to renegotiate the contracts of the privatized utility companies. I don't think they are feeling very serene right now, after the government rescinded yesterday Grupo Macri's contract to run the postal service (it's expected to find another buyer for the concession in 180 days).

Economic emergency aside, the macro news are in fact quite good. The government announced a primary budget surplus of 8.118 millions of pesos, well above the goals accorded with the IMF, while year-to-year GDP growth measured in September was 9.4%.

In more anecdotal news, Argentina and Colombia's soccer teams tied 1-1 in a match leading to the next World Cup.

Also, an interesting observation by a friend of mine who lives near villas La Cava and Fuerte Apache: The roads around them tend to be in a much better condition than elsewhere. The reason? People from neighbooring zones know better than to drive there, so traffic is lighter.



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