Archive for 31 enero 2013

LA FLOTA ARGENTINA SE HUNDE

31 enero, 2013

Asunto: La Flota de Guerra argentina se va a pique   

From a Spanish newspaper.

El Mundo (España) – 29-Ene-13 – América / Argentina
http://www.elmundo.es/america/2013/01/28/argentina/1359390375.html
Los militares culpan al Gobierno de falta de interés La Flota de Guerra argentina se va a pique
por Ramy Wurgaft (corresponsal) | Buenos Aires
Rara vez los que navegan por alta mar divisan a un barco de la Armada argentina. Casi la totalidad de la Flota de Guerra permanece anclada en la base de Puerto Belgrano, a salvo de las tormentas pero expuesta al clamoroso desinterés de Cristina Kirchner en su mantenimiento. El ministro de Defensa, Arturo Puricelli ha admitido que se le “cae la cara de vergüenza” por el reciente hundimiento del ‘Santísima Trinidad’, buque insignia en el desembarco de las tropas argentinas en Islas Malvinas, al inicio de la guerra con Gran Bretaña (1982).A pesar de los intentos del Gobierno por ocultarlo, el 50% de las naves que componen la flota correría la misma suerte que el ‘Santísima Trinidad’ si no llegan los fondos para mantenerlas a flote. No hay indicios de que la Casa Rosada (sede del gobierno) vaya a hacerlo. “Detrás de la apatía de la presidenta hay motivos ideológicos. Para ella el almirantazgo es un nido de golpistas en potencia. Le importa un comino que los barcos se vayan a pique”, ha comentado a ELMUNDO.es Toribio Juárez, experto en materia naval.El Libro Blanco de Defensa, una especie de catálogo del material bélico disponible, señala que la Armada dispone de 16 barcos con capacidad ofensiva. En la práctica, de los 6 destructores incluidos en la lista, sólo 2 están en condiciones de navegar. El mejor de los barcos de esa clase, el ‘Heroína’, se inclina peligrosamente hacia un costado por el mal funcionamiento de sus turbinas.Ejercicios en tierraEl destructor tenía aprobado un presupuesto para renovar la maquinaría, pero el dinero se destinó a la reparación de embarcaciones en peor estado. De los tres submarinos que posee la Armada, ninguno podría sumergirse y luego volver a la superficie. Las corbetas ‘Gómez Roca’ y ‘Granville’ sólo pueden navegar de día, puesto que quedaron ‘ciegas’ tras estropearse el radar.Los rangos medios de la marina de guerra acusan al gobierno de Cristina Kirchner de haber dictado una sentencia de muerte contra la flota. Y en cierta medida, culpan al propio almirantazgo por guardar silencio. “El Libro Blanco es una payasada y eso lo sabe hasta el último grumete. La cúpula naval no puede admitirlo sin poner en riesgo la seguridad nacional. No podemos decir que andamos en canoa. De todas maneras, lo mínimo que se les exige a nuestros superiores es que hagan oír su voz en la Casa Rosada”, ha señalado un ex oficial que ha pedido mantenerse en el anonimato.Volviendo al Libro Blanco de Defensa, un oficial de la Infantería de Marina ha declarado al diario ‘Perfil’ que el texto de uso técnico se ha convertido en un panfleto de marketing político. “No entiendo por qué hay tantas fotos de la señora Kirchner y de su difunto esposo (el ex presidente Néstor Kirchner) cuando ambos sienten un profundo rechazo hacia las fuerzas armadas”, ha expresado el marine.Sobra decir que la agonía de los buques que vegetan en el puerto repercute negativamente en la preparación de las tripulaciones. En la década de los 80 los marinos debían cumplir con un mínimo de entre 40 y 60 días de navegación al año. Hoy se consideran afortunados los que salen 5 o 10. “Los ejercicios en tierra son tan útiles como jugar con barquitos de papel en un charco. En estas circunstancias, más vale que desguacen los barcos y los vendan como chatarra antes que seguir con la farsa”, concluye Juárez.
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INFLACIÓN QUE NO EXISTE

30 enero, 2013

Una abogada exitosa, nuestra Presidenta Cristina, niega que exista inflación  y que los aumentos de precios son culpa de otros, no del Estado Argentino que ella capitanea. El Capitán del Costa Concordia, famoso buque italiano que se hundió tiempo atrás  no sabia que existían peñascos debajo de las aguas cuando se aproximo a una isla: las cartas de navegación no los señalaban. Y esto se vincula con un drama jurídico argentino: se nos educa, diciendo que la inflación es un problema económico  cuando es un drama jurídico que consiste en tener un gobierno Ladrón que  emite papel moneda sin respetar las leyes y la Constitución  Esto afirmo para denunciar una vez mas  que  la doctora Kirchner esta siendo mal asesorada por su Jefe de Gabinete: le hacen creer cosas disparatadas, y ella no advierte que inflación y subsiguiente hiperinflacion son dramas jurídicos  porque son el resultado de violaciones al Derecho, tal como arriba mencionamos. Si la Constitución es violada, el Amo es el Presidente, que no cuenta con limites, y se convierte en una suerte de Hitler, aunque no asesine gente, porque los domina con el truco de emitir papel moneda espurio, que es lo mismo que cuando los almaceneros echan agua al vino para duplicar el volumen, y ganar dinero, siendo el agua casi gratis. Inflación es el resultado de que el vino se ha reducido en su pureza, e hiperinflacion es cuando ya ni siquiera se siente el sabor, porque el aguamiento ha total.

Plagio ahora  de mi libro publicado en 1998:

“EL DIRIGISMO ECONÓMICO EN ARGENTINA

Los Presidentes argentinos, que mayoritariamente han sido abogados y generales, suelen tener enorme aversión a la economía  para ellos un terreno poco familiar. Suponen se trata de una ciencia que debe aprenderse en la Universidad, y por lo tanto debe ser manejada por expertos graduados. Por eso, se concentran en lo que llaman la “Política”, y todo lo referente con el trabajo, la producción  el comercio, las finanzas, la moneda, los impuestos, la importación y exportación  lo delegan totalmente en el equipo de economistas, al punto que estos hoy dirigen el destino del país. Vemos como se ha sobredimensionado …..” El resto del capitulo puede leerse  en mi libro ¿Donde están los Estadistas? cliqueando en el margen derecho de este blog.

AUSENCIA DE JUECES SERIOS

Si la inflación resurge en Argentina, es porque el peronismo duro la ama: prefirieron destrozar la convertibilidad para que Duhalde fuese Presidente, luego de haber perdido  cuando compitió contra Fernando de la Rúa por el puesto. Porque la estabilidad jurídica disgusta a los gobiernos autoritarios. A Hitler no podían frenarlo, nadie se animaba a decirle que debía cumplir con las normas serias de auditoria normalmente aceptadas, por parte del Administrador. Primero, porque Hitler no se creía un mero  administrador electo, sino  dueño de Alemania, y todo lo que en ella había. Y si contamos el tiempo transcurrido desde que ascendió al Poder por medio de elecciones, hasta que eventualmente se volvió loco si descreyó que el Reino Unido no cumpliría su compromiso de defender a Polonia, pasaron pocos años. Allí los nazis emprendieron al guerra, y en solo cinco años mas fueron masacrados por los Aliados, es decir, que un país algo poderoso como Alemania no pudo llevarse por delante al resto de la comunidad organizada. Como tampoco pudieron  años antes Napoleón  y los Borbones de España.. . El mundo parece ir evolucionando hacia una mayor libertad y men9r confrontación bélica entre naciones. Nos estamos civilizando al globalizarnos, nos guste o no. Y al autoritarismo le disgusta, porque prefiere mantener un propio territorio para adueñarse de el, en forma bandidesca, al estilo mafioso. Se nota ademas, en Argentina,  en varias gobernaciones provinciales, según nos ha mostrado por T.V. recientemente el periodista Jorge La Nata, y esto coincide con la etapa de periodización post fascismo instalado en Argentina en 1930, que aun perdura.

Y la peor consecuencia, es que el Poder Ejecutivo controla no solo al Congreso, sino a la Corte Suprema Kirchnerista, a la cual Néstor  en forma grosera, expulso mayoritariamente para obtener jueces sumisos, que aun perduran siendo oficialistas luego de que El muriera en el 2010, durante la presidencia de Cristina.

Cristina sabe que la Corte Suprema actual declaro constitucional lo que para mi fue un aborto jurídico  la pesificacion. Pero si ella es muy estudiosa, como dicen sus admiradores, debe creer que controlar la monda es algo constitucional y normal, porque su Corte Suprema lo aprobó. Estos siete señores y señoras que se apoltronan en el cuarto piso del Palacio de Tribunales, nos están haciendo un daño enorme a la sociedad, porque fueron aceptados en sus puestos por un compromiso – sospecho – entre Duhalde y Néstor K. que temían que una Corte Suprema independiente fuese a declarar que pesificar un peso convertible era violar los derechos de los tenedores de pesos convertibles. Y ese craso error, supongo el motivo del nombramiento de la mayoría determinante, es lo que hoy castiga como boomerang a Cristina. Tiene una justicia a nivel Supremo, que ha fallado en forma equivocada. Ha aceptado que licuar el valor del dinero es licito en un país donde existe  la Constitición que tenemos, en vez de impedir que al pueblo se lo siga saqueando, y a las provincias también  porque el Amo autoritario necesita cada vez mas dinero para comprar voluntades o repartir riqueza para sus votantes y amigos.

Para la Corte  Suprema, supongo hay drama, si no actúan para frenar la inflación, porque como los siete son abogados, quizás creen o aleguen algún día que creían  que la economía es tema de economistas, y no de abogados, como mencione al comenzar esta charla, citando a mi libro. Zaffaroni ha dicho que se retira en dos años, porque habrá llegado a 75 años de edad, y aunque sabe de Derecho Penal, no parece importarle la economía en demasía  O no la entiende, ya que a la Justicia Suprema, sus sueldos les llegan puntualmente y se los actualiza siempre, ya que  cualquier presidente peronista sabe que es mejor tener a la Justicia de su lado, y si es propia, mejor. Y si bien entraron a la Corte varios de los actuales miembros, porque Néstor lo decidió  resulta que hoy esos mismos jueces a Cristina la perjudican: no le advierten que esta traspasando los limites que un Presidente tiene, dentro del sistema tripartito de Poderes, para que exista Republica.

Leía en Infobae, creo, como aumento la inflación desde comienzos de 2011 hasta hoy. De cuatro pesos y monedas, a llegado casi al doble, en dos años, lo cual es como si Cristina estuviese engatusada por sus aplaudidores,y no ve que es ELLA la que mantiene gente que tiene que emitir cada vez mas dinero, porque mas allá del 20 por ciento anual, es imposible detener la vorágine inflacionaria que se convierte en hiperinflacion, a menos que aparezca una persona seria y confiable, tal como sucedió cuando Menem, electo Presidente, tardo dos años en que le prepararan desde USA un plan de estabilidad llamado Convertibilidad, por intermedio de Steve H. Hanke. Pero Menem era escoba nueva,que barre bien, mientras que Cristina ni es nueva ni goza de la credibilidad internacional. Y eso hace una diferencia abismal. Para que la comunidad internacional – que existe y controla al mundo, aunque ella lo niegue – hay que aceptar ciertas reglas de juego, que a ella le gusta ostensible desconocer, porque así ganaba votos de los resentidos votantes. Pero llega un momento en que la suba de precios como resultado de que el gobierno roba con emisión monetaria, se vuelve inocultable. Máxime aun, si la justicia de Nueva York a fines de febrero muestra que el Juez Griesa tenia razón y a los fondos buitres hay que pagarles todo, mas los intereses y costas. Y peor aun si dentro de un par de días, el Fondo Monetario expulsa o castiga a Argentina, por ser un país incumplidor serial.

Finalizando, la Constitución considera que debe existir un sistema de pesos y de medidas, y establece que corresponde al Congreso establecerlas. Como resultado, al almacenero que engaña con el peso del azúcar que vende, al entregar menor cantidad, se lo considera delincuente y se lo sanciona penalmente. Igual a quien miente en otras medidas. Y a quien como Administrador del País se le permite emitir dinero, si lo hace mas alla de lo autorizado, se lo debería encarcelar. Porque seria un administrador infiel que engaña a su amo, el soberano pueblo, si se tratara de una Republica  donde existe el Estado de Derecho. El caso actual norteamericano lo muestra: la Unión  esa extraña figura que aglutina a los 50 Estados norteamericanos, no tiene aun el presupuesto para financiarse en el año 2013, y deberá cerrar, por incapacidad de pagar los gastos federales, los comunes a los cincuenta Estados mas Washington D.C.  Y esto sucede en el Norte porque aunque a Cristina disguste, están mas evolucionados, empezaron antes a luchar para frenar a los Amos bandidos internos, y a defender a los derechos humanos. A Hitler lo bajaron los Aliados, incluyendo a Rusia curiosamente, en la segunda guerra mundial, y hoy los alemanes y japoneses son pueblos civilizados, porque la derrota militar les enseño a comportarse en sociedad internacional. A Argentina, hasta ahora la tercera posición mentirosa peronistas nos descoloco, el fascismo bandidesco sigue vigente, y a Cristina se le viene encima la altísimo inflación, y no imagino como harán sus aplaudidores para negar que existe.

Para peor, en los movimientos fascistas, el sindicalismo es la columna vertebral, porque frenan a los gobiernos de oposición al peronismo, y ayudan al fascismo a gobernar y hacer nuevos ricos en forma ilegal. Pero Cristina se enfrenta con los sindicalistas, con lo cual demuestra que ni siquiera es peronista fascista, de modo que es muy difícil difícil entre las ideologías posibles. Ella quizás  cree ser liberal que odia al neoliberalismo – como quien escribe esta charla – y que respeta y hace respetar los Derechos Humanos, pero al emitir dinero en forma ignorante y grosera, empobrece al pueblo y borra con el codo lo poco bueno que hizo Néstor cuando asumió la presidencia de un país destrozado por Duhalde y Alfonsín  que se unieron para terminar con la estabilidad monetaria, porque los autoritarios aman el Poder del Dinero para comprar voluntades y votos. Por eso, sostengo que la inflación es un pecado jurídico  que solo lo arreglan los jueces, o la sociedad termina volteando a la inexperta Capitana, que creyó a sus mentirosos asesores, cual Reina desnuda argentina. Una pena, en serio… En una de esas, aparecerá Cristina como una ilusa que se creyó Evita Perón y que el peronismo generaba riqueza, cuando la historia muestra que los autoritarismos terminan mal para sus dominados súbditos empobrecidos por la inflación, un pecado del Estado Nazi. Para consuelo del ego cristinista, si llegara a fracasar, recordemos que la culpa no la tiene el chancho, sino quien le da de engordar, es decir, los supremos jueces que no le indicaron el camino correcto y constitucional a tiempo, habiendo tenido muchas oportunidades. Una sociedad sin moneda seria no puede considerarse libre, sino dominada por sus Amos, de cualquier tendencia que digan tener. Son

 

 

 

 

 

MAYOR OCUPACION

29 enero, 2013

Una herramienta contra la desocupación es permitir mayor libertad para trabajar. Significa reconocer que no es posible que todos consigan ubicarse como empleados. Implica crear nuevas figuras jurídicas paralelas a la “relación de dependencia”. Esta posiblemente proviene de la época en que los amos tenían que garantizar casi de por vida el bienestar de sus súbditos  Esta figura de “dependencia”  debería disminuir gradualmente a medida que aumenta la libertad.

Si las leyes dificultan que la gente consiga trabajo, no están al servicio de la sociedad y es necesario reformarlas. El trabajo esta en primer termino, conforme al orden natural. Lo otro – impuestos, beneficios sociales, jubilaciones, aportes sindicales, etc. – es la  consecuencia del trabajo, y no debe jamas impedirlo, porque es un Derecho Natural.

En momentos de alta desocupación  es posible crear incentivos para alentar el trabajo de los sectores de la población. Puede lograrse con medidas de emergencia, aunque sea, temporarias.

Debemos considerar a los desocupados como un sector prioritario, para generarles trabajo privado en forma urgente, con leyes adecuadas. Como ejemplo cito un proyecto de ley para generar trabajo privado en las provincias inundadas sin que le cueste un peso al Estado Nacional o Provincial.

El esquema es muy sencillo: por razones de emergencia y por el plazo de tres años,se permite que hasta el uno por ciento de la población de cada provincia trabaje en un marco jurídico diferente al de la relación de dependencia laboral actual, que se encuadrara como de Defensa Civil par la Subsistencia de la Población.

Estos contratos, que no podrán superar los **** pesos mensuales, estarán regidos únicamente por el Código Civil y son inexistentes a los efectos de los aportes jubilatorios, obras sociales, sindicales e impositivos. Todo lo que el empleador entrega al trabajador sera percibido sin descuento alguno.

El empleador estará obligado a pagar un seguro contra accidentes de trabajo, una póliza debe ser firmada por el trabajador, y es la única forma para demostrar que el contrato esta regido por este régimen promocional. Las aseguradoras deben comunicar mensualmente a la Superintendencia de Seguros de la Nación la cantidad de pólizas vigentes en cada provincia, y con ese simple dato se verificara que la cantidad de contratos promocionados no supere el cupo del uno por ciento de la población de cada provincia conforme al ultimo Censo Nacional. Si se alcanza el cupo, el Superintendente lo comunicara al gobernador de la provincia involucrada, para que esta informe a la población que el cupo esta cubierto, y que nuevos contratos deberán esperar hasta que existan nuevos cupos vacantes.

Este proyecto de ley fue presentado como particular ante la H. Cámara de Diputados el 17 de junio de 1998, y quedo registrado como Letra P N° 287. Razonablemente, sera desechado,  porque no conviene a los sindicatos, pero puede servir de base para que algún Gobernador progresista haga algo parecido en su Provincia.

Con este tipo de contratos “para laborales” aumentaría la ocupación privada, porque se suprimen totalmente los costos indirectos de mano de obra (lo que paga el patrón es recibido por el trabajador, sin descuento alguno) bajando el costo del empleador. Esto generaría mayor producción y aumentaría la recaudación impositiva.

NOTA ACTUAL: esta charla es un capitulo de mi libro ¿DONDE ESTÁN LOS ESTADISTAS? publicado en 1998, incluido en este blog. Allí puede leerse totalmente el mencionado proyecto de ley. El salario tope previsto en 1998 eran trescientos dolares – pesos convertibles – a valor de entonces, una suma apetecible para los desocupados ansiosos por trabajar, entonces y también hoy, con el cristinismo, si calculamos al dolar a su valor real en el mercado paralelo o libre, que hoy 29 de enero, según  la televisión,  alcanzo los 7,80 pesos por dolar. Y a pesar de los esfuerzos de la Presidenta para convencernos  que la inflación no existe y que hoy los asalariados viven mejor que durante la vigencia de la convertibilidad.

Recordemos que el ex presidente Carlos Saul Menem no dejo la Presidencia porque quiso, sino porque la Constitución no le permitía un tercer mandato. Esperamos que la sociedad entienda que dos mandatos son suficientes para administrar un país y a veces, para hundirlo, si la Administración nacional dicta medidas insensatas. Y que una Administración que no acepta que no existe moneda creíble cuando el valor del dinero nacional baja en forma alarmante frente al dolar norteamericano, es incapaz y mendaz. “Do not argue on facts”, decía un viejo amigo norteamericano, y tenia razón, y me apena que Cristina K. no lo conoció. De de lo contrario, quiero imaginar  hubiese expulsado a su Jefe de Gabinete y a varios ministros y designado a alguien confiable a nivel internacional y local.

re Derechos Humanos en Argentina

29 enero, 2013

 

Muy Interesante. Importante Difundir. Saludos,

El otro polo de la discusión. Debe encontrar sin punto en el Medio.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qI-UV6zcxew

 

o

Perspectiva histórica acerca de nuestros Sobering 2013 — Política estancadas
 desde hace 110 años, las cifras se presentó como evangelio: 618.222 hombres murieron en la Guerra Civil, 360.222 de los 258.000 del Norte y del Sur -, con mucho, el mayor número de víctimas de cualquier guerra en la historia de América . Pero la nueva investigación muestra que las cifras eran demasiado bajas. Por peinado a través de los datos del censo recientemente digitalizados desde el siglo 19, J. David Hacker, un historiador demográfico de la Universidad de Binghamton en Nueva York, ha vuelto a calcular el número de muertos y aumentó en más del 20 por ciento – a 750.000. 
– Guy Gugliotta –

Perspectiva histórica acerca de nuestros Sobering 2013 — Política estancadas
 desde hace 110 años, las cifras se presentó como evangelio: 618.222 hombres murieron en la Guerra Civil, 360.222 de los 258.000 del Norte y del Sur -, con mucho, el mayor número de víctimas de cualquier guerra en la historia de América . Pero la nueva investigación muestra que las cifras eran demasiado bajas. Por peinado a través de los datos del censo recientemente digitalizados desde el siglo 19, J. David Hacker, un historiador demográfico de la Universidad de Binghamton en Nueva York, ha vuelto a calcular el número de muertos y aumentó en más del 20 por ciento – a 750.000. 
– Guy Gugliotta –

ARGENTINE UPDATE – Jan 28, 2013

29 enero, 2013

Crying for Argentina

Argentina losing it’s boat to debtors is nothing new. They’ve been stuck in the water for decades.

  • by ALBERT FISHLOW
  • Jan. 17, 2013
In 1913, Argentina’s per capita income was among the five highest in the world. In the interim, it has slipped to 69th place, behind most of Eastern Europe and just ahead of Botswana, Gabon and Lebanon. It’s safe to say that no other modern economy with a democratic government has made so little from so much.
This relative decline has proceeded in cyclical fashion. Policies have ricocheted between extremes, reflecting conflicts between economic interests that were all too often resolved by military coups. However, the military has stayed in the barracks since its humiliation in the Falklands/Malvinas in 1982. Nonetheless, Argentina has since been beset by out-of-control budget deficits, hyperinflation and debt defaults, even as civil society has been battered by unprecedented poverty and inequality.
In a global economy that has consistently rewarded free-market policies, Argentines have increasingly opted for a greater state role, relying on trade protectionism to stimulate industrial expansion and blaming everyone but themselves for the consequences.  Actually, in recent decades, luck has largely made up for bad policy choices. During much of the husband-wife reigns of presidents Nestor and Cristina Kirchner, Argentina has had the good fortune to be a major commodities exporter in the midst of a global commodities boom.
Now, as commodity prices sag and the global economy seems poised on the edge of recession, Argentina has again chosen to go it alone. Imports are being tightly restricted and transactions in foreign currency are subject to rigid controls. President Cristina Kirchner’s announcement last April of the nationalization of Repsol, the Spanish oil company, suggests more of the same to come. Indeed, the question du jour is whether the ritual squandering of Argentina’s economic prospects in a show of incompetence and opportunism is about to be repeated.
Argentina became wealthy selling grain and meat to Europe after the revolutions in steamship and rail transportation in the late 19th century. Its economy grew at a blistering pace of seven percent annually between 1903 and 1913, only to be hammered by the collapse of global commodity markets in World War I. But it recovered briskly thereafter, averaging 6.4 percent growth from 1918 to 1929 on the strength of foreign direct investment and burgeoning global demand for farm commodities.
The Great Depression sent Argentina (and every other market economy) into the skids. It’s worth noting, though, that fortune favored Argentina — the 14 percent decline in GDP was modest by comparison to the 30-50 percent declines experienced by most heavily industrialized countries. And the recovery was faster: Argentina output regained its late 1920s level in 1935, and it was never forced to default on its debts.
The real divergence of the Argentine economy from other promising New World economies dates to the 1940s, to the rise of Juan Peron. Like Fascists and Stalinists, Peronists believed (and maybe still do) in top-down direction of the economy. Their single economic goal, though, was not growth but redistribution — first from Argentina’s rural oligarchy to the owners of highly concentrated urban industries protected against competition from imports, and then from industry to its heavily unionized labor force.

———————————————————- TUESDAY —

1. ISRAEL ANGERED OVER DEAL ON JOINT ARGENTINA-IRAN PROBE OF 1994 JEWISH CENTER BOMBING (The Washington Post)

January 29, 2013

 

JERUSALEM — Israel summoned the Argentinian ambassador on Tuesday in protest over an agreement between Iran and Argentina to jointly investigate the bombing 19 years ago of a Jewish center that killed 85 people in Buenos Aires and that was widely blamed on Tehran.

The terror attack was the deadliest on Argentinian soil, coming just two years after a bomb flattened the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said the Argentina-Iran agreement, which was struck on Sunday, “is like inviting a murderer to investigate the killings he committed.”

Argentine prosecutors have formally accused six Iranians of coordinating — under orders from their government — the July 18, 1994, bombing that demolished the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building.

The center, a symbol for Argentina’s Jewish community, was destroyed and 85 people were killed and hundreds more wounded.

Argentine officials have claimed that Iran masterminded the attack while agents of the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group carried it out.

Among those accused of involvement in the community center bombing is Iran’s current defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi. The Argentines have spent years seeking to interrogate the six with the help of Interpol, but Iran’s government has refused to make them available until now.

On Sunday, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez announced via Twitter that her country and Iran agreed to establish an independent international “truth commission” to investigate the bombing.

The commissioners will examine the evidence and recommend how to proceed, “based on the laws and regulations of both countries,” Fernandez said. Then, commissioners and Argentine investigators will travel to Teheran to question the suspects.

The agreement was signed in Africa by Argentinian foreign minister Hector Timerman and his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi.

Previous Argentine probes resulted “only in failures and scandal, with a trial that ended up being a farce” after high-level officials were accused of covering up evidence and deliberately misdirecting investigators, Fernandez said in a series of tweets.

Israel’s foreign ministry said Tuesday that it is “deeply disappointed” and is summoning Argentina’s ambassador to demand an explanation over the joint probe and that Israel’s ambassador in Buenos Aires will request a meeting with Argentines foreign minister for clarifications.

“Though the (Jewish community center) attack took place on Argentinean soil and was aimed at Argentinean citizens, the findings of the ensuing investigation by Argentinean authorities has brought up a clear resemblance with the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, which occurred two years earlier,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The proven relation between the two attacks grants us the natural right to follow the investigations and to expect the perpetrators and their sponsors to be brought to justice, particularly in times when to suffer from the Iranian terror plague around the world,” the ministry said. “It is doubtful whether this is how justice will be rendered,” it said.

Israel and Iran are bitter enemies and tensions are high over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Israel considers a nuclear-armed Iran to be an existential threat, citing Iranian denials of the Holocaust, its calls for Israel’s destruction, its development of missiles capable of striking the Jewish state and its support for violent Middle Eastern militant groups. Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful, a claim that Israel and many Western countries reject.

2. ISRAEL ANGERED BY BOMB PROBE (The Wall Street Journal Online)

29 January 2013

JERUSALEM—Israel summoned the Argentine ambassador on Tuesday in protest over an agreement between Iran and Argentina to jointly investigate the terror bombing 19 years ago of a Jewish center that killed 85 people in Buenos Aires and that was widely blamed on Tehran.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said the agreement, which was struck on Sunday, “is like inviting a murderer to investigate the killings he committed.”

Argentine prosecutors have formally accused six Iranians of coordinating—under orders from their government—the July 18, 1994, bombing that demolished the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building.

The center, a symbol for Argentina’s Jewish community, was destroyed and 85 people were killed and hundreds more wounded. The attack came two years after a bomb flattened the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people. Argentine officials have claimed that Iran masterminded the attack while agents of the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group carried it out.

Among those accused of involvement in the community center bombing is Iran’s current defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi. The Argentines have spent years seeking to interrogate the six with the help of Interpol, but Iran’s government has refused to make them available until now.

On Sunday, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez announced via Twitter that her country and Iran had agreed to establish an independent international “truth commission” to investigate the bombing.

The commissioners will examine the evidence and recommend how to proceed, “based on the laws and regulations of both countries,” Ms. Fernandez said. Then, commissioners and Argentine investigators will travel to Tehran to question the suspects.

The agreement was signed in Africa by Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi.

Previous Argentine probes resulted “only in failures and scandal, with a trial that ended up being a farce” after high-level officials were accused of covering up evidence and deliberately misdirecting investigators, Ms. Fernandez said in a series of tweets.

Israel’s foreign ministry said Tuesday that it is “deeply disappointed” and is summoning Argentina’s ambassador to demand an explanation over the joint probe and that Israel’s ambassador in Buenos Aires will request a meeting with Argentines foreign minister for clarifications.

“Though the [Jewish community center] attack took place on Argentinean soil and was aimed at Argentinean citizens, the findings of the ensuing investigation by Argentinean authorities has brought up a clear resemblance with the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, which occurred two years earlier,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The proven relation between the two attacks grants us the natural right to follow the investigations and to expect the perpetrators and their sponsors to be brought to justice, particularly in times when to suffer from the Iranian terror plague around the world,” it said.

Israel and Iran are bitter enemies and tensions are high over Tehran’s nuclear program. Israel considers a nuclear-armed Iran to be an existential threat, citing Iranian denials of the Holocaust, its calls for Israel’s destruction, its development of missiles capable of striking the Jewish state and its support for violent Middle Eastern militant groups. Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful, a claim that Israel and many Western countries reject.

3. WTO JUDGES TO PROBE LEGALITY OF ARGENTINA’S IMPORT CURBS (Bloomberg News)

By Jennifer M. Freedman

January 28, 2013

The World Trade Organization agreed to investigate Argentine import restrictions that the U.S., the European Union and Japan say violate global trade rules.

The three governments separately challenged Argentina’s policy of subjecting a growing number of products such as laptop computers, chemicals, cat litter and tractors to licensing regulations. These measures limit imports and discriminate between foreign and domestic products, the governments said. The WTO agreed today to set up a single panel to probe the U.S., EU and Japanese complaints.

Argentina also limits imports, balances imports with exports and compels importers to make or increase investments in production facilities in the Latin American country. It frequently raises the local content of goods manufactured domestically, requires importers to keep revenue in Argentina and imposes price controls on imported goods.

“Argentina’s trade policy has become rooted in unfair trade practices,” EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said on May 25, when the bloc filed its challenge. “These restrictive measures by Argentina are illegal under WTO rules. They harm our exports, they hurt our exporters and they cost us jobs.”

The challenge underscored the 27-nation bloc’s anger over Argentina’s takeover of a unit of Spanish oil company Repsol SA in April. The seizure, which couldn’t be challenged under WTO rules, is “an expression of the same worrying policy pursued by Argentina” in limiting imports, the EU said in May.

Fair Access

“Argentina’s persistent use of import restrictions broadly impacts all U.S. exporters of goods to Argentina,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said on Dec. 7 when announcing plans to seek a dispute panel following an Aug. 21 complaint. “It is vital that our exporters obtain fair and equal access to foreign markets, as required by our trade agreements.”

Argentina responded to the complaints by challenging U.S. restrictions on Argentine meat and lemons and Spanish curbs on imported biofuels. The WTO agreed today to Argentina’s request for a panel of judges to be appointed to probe its complaint against the U.S.

On Dec. 12, Panama lodged a complaint against Argentina, the eighth against the Latin American nation since May. While the other complaints focus on measures affecting imports of products, Panama accused Argentina of discriminating on both goods and services trade through taxes, company registration rules and curbs on financial-services providers, among others.

Mexico also challenged Argentina’s import curbs, though it withdrew its planned request for WTO judges to rule on its complaint.

4. CORN GAINS ON INCREASED ARGENTINA CROP CONCERN; SOYBEANS STEADY (Bloomberg News)

By Jeff Wilson

January 28, 2013

Corn rose on speculation that dry weather may damage crops in Argentina, while too much rain slows planting in Brazil, increasing demand for U.S. supplies. Soybeans were little changed.

Most corn fields in Argentina have received less than half the average rainfall in the past 40 days, and hot, dry weather during the next five days will increase stress on developing crops, T-Storm Weather LLC said in a report today. As much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain in the next 10 days will slow crop sowing in central Brazil, the private forecaster said.

“Argentina weather is a growing concern and helped to bring in some new buying,” Jeff Beal, a market analyst for Rockford, Illinois-based Gulke Group Inc., said in a telephone interview. “Rain-delayed planting in Brazil could help to revive sluggish U.S. exports.”

Corn futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to $7.245 a bushel at 10:54 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Though Jan. 25, the price gained 3.2 percent this month after the government said that U.S. inventories as of Dec. 1 fell to the lowest in nine years.

Soybean futures for March delivery dropped less than 0.1 percent to $14.405 a bushel in Chicago.

U.S. supplies inspected for export fell 17 percent to 40.667 million bushels in the week ended Jan. 24 from a week earlier, the Department of Agriculture said today.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show.

5. ARGENTINA MULLS ‘SHAME’ OF NAVAL DECAY (UPI)

January 29, 2013

BUENOS AIRES, Jan. 29 (UPI) — Argentina is weighing options after a prized old warship sank in port, apparently due to poor upkeep of the vessel.

Although senior aides said sabotage couldn’t be discounted, Argentine Defense Minister Arturo Puricelli said he faced an embarrassing encounter with President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over the incident.

“I’ll be ashamed, frankly, to tell her that a boat sank while tied to the dock,” Puricelli told Argentine media.

He said neglect or sabotage couldn’t be ruled out and government officials would be looking for a “well-founded reason” for the sudden demise of ARA Trinidad, a destroyer that led Argentine invasion of British-ruled Falkland Islands in 1982.

Since that conflict, Argentina’s government, military and citizens have carried on a strange relationship with the vessel, which was praised in populist accounts of the war but remained neglected once moored.

Plans for the ship’s preservation and refurbishment never got off the ground. Instead the vessel was used as a source of spare parts for other naval ships and was cannibalized in parts even amid the talk of preserving it for posterity.

Faced with criticism, officials blamed Argentina’s underfunded navy for failing to take care of what many Argentines regard as a part of Argentina’s naval history.

Fernandez has revived Argentina’s claim on the Falkands, which she calls Islas Malvinas. Critics of the president within the opposition say the anti-British rhetoric is meaningless if Argentina cannot maintain a mothballed warship at its moorings.

Argentine media are full of pronouncements of dismay and shame over the incident. Argentine military hopes the embarrassing incident will prod the president to put into action frequently promised allocations for naval regeneration.

Two years ago Fernandez announced a five-year program for increased defense spending on military refurbishment, plans to modernize all armed forces and replace aging naval fleet. Little progress has been made on that program.

Argentina also says it is developing a nuclear-powered submarine but information on the project remains scant.

A military-led invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982 sparked a 74-day conflict that caused deaths of more than 1,000 people, including Falklanders and Argentine and British military personnel. Argentina signed a formal surrender to Britain before retreat, but in 1994 added its Falklands sovereignty claim to its revised constitution.

Ricardo Burzaco, analyst and director of the Mercosur Defense and Security magazine, said Argentina was determined to improve the state of its defense infrastructure but the present plans would not amount to a sufficient increase in defense acquisitions.

Argentina has been shopping around and has been offered military equipment and hardware on easy terms by China and European suppliers. Russia has indicated it will extend favorable credit terms to Buenos Aires and replace mostly obsolete U.S. equipment with its own inventories.

Burzaco indicated any acquisitions under the program might fall short of the Argentine military’s real needs, which are diverse and widespread across all sectors, requiring vast expenditure.

Argentina’s military was one of the best equipped in the region right up to the 1950s under military rule.

More recently it faced sharper expenditure cutbacks than most other Latin American armed forces. Real military spending declined after Argentina’s Falklands defeat. Despite recent increases, the defense budget stands well below target.

6. ISRAEL, JEWISH GROUPS SLAM ARGENTINA-IRAN “TRUTH COMMISSION” (Reuters News)

By Hugh Bronstein

January 28, 2013

* Commission seen as diplomatic victory for Tehran

* Plan comes as U.S. leads push to isolate Iran

* Israel is “disappointed,” wants explanation from Argentina

(Reuters) – Israel and world Jewish groups denounced plans by Argentina and Iran to form a truth commission to investigate the deadly 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center that Argentine courts say was sponsored by Iran.

The forming of the commission, announced during the weekend, was seen as a diplomatic win for Iran as it confronts a U.S.-led effort to isolate Tehran because of its nuclear program.

Western nations fear Iran intends to use the program to produce atomic weapons. Israel regards this as an existential threat, citing statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about wiping the Jewish state off the map.

“The agreement between Argentina and Iran is received in Israel with astonishment and deep disappointment,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “The Argentine ambassador in Israel will be summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem to provide explanations.”

Argentine courts have said Iran was behind the attack on the Jewish center, which killed 85 people. The commission agreement, which must be approved by Argentina’s Congress, outlines plans for Argentine officials to interview suspects in Iran – not in a third country, as originally proposed by Argentina.

“Forming a joint truth commission with Iran is a farce,” Shimon Samuels, Paris-based director of international relations for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told Reuters on Monday.

“It will whitewash terrorism and encourage the mullahs to become patrons of further attacks.”

The bombing came two years after a group linked to Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on the Israeli Embassy in the Argentine capital, which killed 29. Tehran has denied links to either attack.

Led by Washington, the West has imposed sanctions on Iran – including directly targeting its key oil revenues – to try to force it into a diplomatic solution that would lay to rest Western concerns that it is seeking to develop a nuclear bomb.

“The benefits of a truth commission are not evident for Argentina,” said Ignacio Labaqui, a political science professor at Catholic University in Buenos Aires. “As for Iran, it’s pure gain. It makes no real concessions and it becomes less isolated.”

WANTED BY INTERPOL

In 2007, Argentine authorities secured Interpol arrest warrants for five Iranians and a Lebanese in the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center. Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi is among the officials sought by Argentina, which is home to Latin America’s largest Jewish community.

The five “truth commissioners” will be jointly named and will not be residents of Argentina or Iran, according to a document posted on President Cristina Fernandez’s Facebook page.

“Dialogue (is) the only way to resolve conflicts between countries, however severe,” she said on Sunday via Twitter.

The agreement on the commission said that after analyzing the evidence the commission “will give its vision and issue a report with recommendations about how the case should proceed within the legal and regulatory framework of both parties.”

Fernandez, who is allied with left-leaning Latin American leaders who are on good terms with Tehran, such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, hailed the accord as historic.

But Jewish leaders see no upside in forming a truth commission with Iran, where Ahmadinejad has questioned the Holocaust and where authorities arrested more than a dozen journalists in the past two days over their links to “anti-revolutionary” media.

Argentina’s government also has been criticized for cracking down on dissent by fining private economists for publishing inflation estimates that far outpace the official numbers. The country could face sanctions from the International Monetary Fund over its widely discredited consumer price data.

“Forming a ‘Truth Commission’ which does not fall under Argentine law governing criminal proceedings marks a decline of our sovereignty,” said a statement issued on Monday from Argentina’s two main Jewish groups, known as the AMIA and DAIA.

“This is a setback for obtaining justice,” it said.

7. ARGENTINA UNEMPLOYMENT STEADY DESPITE SLOWDOWN-PRESIDENT (Reuters News)

January 28, 2013

* Fernandez says economy grew 1.8 pct in 2012

* Official data won’t be released until mid-February

* Gov’t to raise income tax floor, pension benefits

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Argentina’s unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter, up just slightly from a year earlier even though economic growth slowed sharply, President Cristina Fernandez said on Monday.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, the jobless rate was 6.7 percent, according to the INDEC statistics institute.

“We are nearly at the same level of record unemployment that we reached in the last quarter of 2011,” Fernandez said during a live televised speech.

“We have practically the same unemployment this year, when we’re going to grow at 1.8 (percent), as we did when we grew at 8-plus percent.”

INDEC is due to release official economic activity data for December and 2012, as well as the fourth-quarter unemployment figures, in mid-February. In 2011, the Argentine economy expanded 8.9 percent.

The president also announced the government will raise the floor for income tax eligibility by 20 percent, responding to demands from the country’s labor unions.

Private economists estimate consumer inflation at around 25 percent a year, and wage increases have tended to be in line with that figure.

As of March 1, the new minimum salary for paying income tax will rise to 8,360 pesos ($1,681) a month for a single person, and 11,563 pesos ($2,325) for a married worker with two children. Fernandez said this would cost the state over 8 billion pesos in lost tax revenue.

The center-left leader also announced state pension benefits will rise 15 percent starting in March. By law, the government must raise pension payments twice a year using a formula that takes into account various economic and price variables.

The minimum pension payment will rise to 2,165 pesos a month, or roughly $435, which Fernandez said would help sustain aggregate demand.

8. ARGENTINA RAISES INCOME TAX THRESHOLD IN NOD TO UNIONS (Dow Jones Global Equities News)

By Taos Turner

28 January 2013

BUENOS AIRES–Argentina’s government will raise the income tax threshold for millions of workers in a nod to union leaders who have been pressing hard for the tax cut.

Raising the threshold will cost the government around ARS8 billion ($1.6 billion) annually in lost tax revenue, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner said in a speech late Monday.

“This means a sacrifice for the state,” Mrs. Kirchner said.

The news comes after unions last year started demanding that the president cut income taxes. Union leaders have noted that income taxes have risen sharply in recent years along with annual wage increases that push more workers above the threshold.

The new policy means that only about 17% of legally employed workers will pay the income tax, Mrs. Kirchner said.

The government will now collect the tax on single workers making over ARS8,360 a month and on married couples–with two children–making over ARS11,563 a month.

Union workers have routinely obtained annual raises in the order of 20% to 30% in recent years, which economists say is tacit recognition that annual inflation is similarly high.

As a result, increasing numbers of workers have been lifted into higher tax brackets, in some cases erasing the benefit of earning a higher salary, economists and union leaders say.

Mrs. Kirchner said the government will raise the income tax threshold by 20 percentage points beginning in March.

However, unions have been demanding wage hikes surpassing that amount for this year, meaning that some employees may not benefit as much from the policy.

9. ARGENTINA PROVINCE THREATENS TO REVOKE VALE MINE CONCESSION (Fox Business)

By Shane Romig

January 28, 2013

Argentina’s Mendoza province is threatening to revoke the concession for Brazilian mining giant Vale SA’s (VALE) $6 billion potash mine if the company doesn’t get back to work on the suspended project.

“The project is going to move forward with or without Vale,” Mendoza Governor Francisco Perez told provincial radio station LV Diez.

In December, Vale put the project on ice as it embarked on a company-wide belt tightening. The company has said that the Rio Colorado mine will come on line in the second half of 2014 and would produce up to 4.3 million metric tons per year of potash, used to make a key fertilizer for booming soybean production in the south of Brazil.

Amid harsh criticism from the provincial authorities, the company has backpedaled from earlier comments indicating that construction had been indefinitely suspended. In a statement Friday, Vale said it has simply extended the roughly 4,500 workers “end-of-the year break while it evaluates changes in the economics of the project.”

President Cristina Kirchner has become involved and negotiations are expected during the coming weekend, said a source close to the provincial government, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Last week, the company assured the province it would resume work on Feb. 4, the source said. Vale hasn’t said when it expects building to get back on track. A Vale spokesman said the company has no additional comment at this time.

Vale has cut its 2013 investment budget for Rio Colorado to $611 million from $1.08 billion last year, as part of the company’s austerity efforts. The company has already spent about $2.6 billion on the mine since it bought the project in 2009.

The project also includes railroad work–along with construction of a maritime port terminal–that will bring the potash across the Argentine plains from the Andean province of Mendoza for shipment. The company complains that the provinces of Neuquen, La Pampa and Buenos Aires have backed out of agreements and raised the cost of the land purchases needed to construct the railway to the coastal port of Bahia Blanca, the person said.

Mendoza’s governor has given the company until Monday, Feb. 4, to submit a new timeframe for construction. If not, the project will be considered “abandoned” and the “concession will expire due to non-compliance with [Vale’s} commitments,” the Governor’s office said in a statement.

If Vale quits the project, investors form the Arab Emirates and China have expressed interest and the Federal Government may take a stake, Governor Perez told LV Diez.

“The Argentine state not only could intervene, it clearly is already doing it,” Mr. Perez said.

Investors have turned a wary eye to Argentina since last year, when the government expropriated 51% of oil and natural-gas company YPF SA (YPF, YPFD.BA) from its majority shareholder, Spain’s Repsol SA (REPYY, REP.MC), in a dispute over investment and falling production. Repsol says it is owed about $10 billion for its shares, but the government counters that Repsol won’t see a dime after failing to boost output and bleeding the company dry with dividends in recent years.

The suspension also comes at a difficult time for Argentina’s mining sector, with a number of companies sidelining or putting off projects.

Since late 2011, mining companies have had to contend with new rules that have made it virtually impossible to repatriate profits and also made it increasingly difficult to import equipment and supplies.

That comes on top of soaring inflation–estimated at an annual rate of over 20% by private economists–which has caused mining costs to soar.

In addition, Argentina’s glacier-protection law threatens to derail several multibillion-dollar mining projects including Barrick Gold Corp.’s (ABX, ABX.T) $5 billion Pascua-Lama mine.

Companies will have to conduct an inventory of nearby glacial ice before proceeding with construction. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the law soon, with companies and provinces challenging the law blocking all activity affecting the country’s numerous glaciers.

10. AJC: ARGENTINA, IRAN ACCORD ON AMIA INVESTIGATION AFFRONT TO TERROR VICTIMS (PR Newswire (U.S.))

28 January 2013

NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AJC, the global advocacy organization, is deeply dismayed by Argentina’s decision to establish with Iran a “truth commission” to investigate the 1994 terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

“The idea of establishing a ‘truth’ commission on the AMIA tragedy that involves the Iranian regime would be like asking Nazi Germany to help establish the facts of Kristallnacht,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “It is offensive not only to the families of the 85 murdered and hundreds wounded, but to the entire Argentine nation which for more than 18 years has sought justice.”

Argentina thoroughly investigated the bombing, and based on the government special prosecutor’s report Interpol has sought since 2007 six Iranian officials, including the current defense minister in connection with the attack. Further, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had vowed repeatedly to apprehend and try those responsible for the terror attack.

The “truth commission” agreement was signed in Addis Ababa by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman. The two had met for the first time in September in New York during the UN General Assembly session, and again in Switzerland earlier this month to discuss the AMIA case.

“Iran’s complicity in the attack and lack of cooperation with Argentina to bring justice is enormously frustrating,” said Harris. “But the Argentine government’s acquiescence in this charade called a truth commission is inexplicable and will fundamentally undermine the efforts of Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman and Interpol to bring justice.”

AMIA is a longstanding AJC international partner. AJC has stood at the side of the local Jewish community from the first moments of the tragedy in 1994, when an AJC group traveled to Buenos Aires, calling for justice and returning at least annually since. At the same time, AJC has been warning about the concerted Iranian attempt to gain a bigger foothold in the Western Hemisphere.

11. SINGER SEWING CHANGE ARGENTINA ABOUT-FACE (New York Post)

By Michelle Celarier

28 January 2013

Paul Singer appears to have changed his tune on Argentina.

After a decade of aggressively pursuing $1.44 billion he claims the country owes him and a group of bondholders, including successfully pressing Ghana to seize a locally docked Argentine naval vessel to help pay down the debt, the billionaire New York hedge fund mogul is sounding like Bobby McFerrin in “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

Singer’s Elliott Management now feels Argentina will do the right thing, according to recent court filings.

It’s quite a change from last fall’s legal arguments, in which Singer urged a federal judge to hurry up and force Buenos Aires to put some of the monies owed into escrow, citing the country’s president’s plot to avoid the debt payment.

Such a move would have put Argentina into default.

Now there’s nothing but love and trust. Well, at least trust.

“It is hard to believe that Argentina will needlessly trigger yet another default and cause the acceleration of tens of billions of dollars in principal repayment obligations” to a second, rival group of bondholders, Elliott’s lawyer, Ted Olson, told a federal appeals court, according to a filing late Friday.

Elliott and Argentina have been sparring in court for almost a decade over defaulted debt Elliott purchased at a steep discount. The $21 billion hedge fund demands to be paid in full, with interest. About 92 percent of the bondholders entered an exchange offer and accepted a 70 percent haircut.

A dozen of these rival, so-called exchange bondholders, including such names as BlackRock, Alliance Bernstein, Gramercy and Perry Capital, have asked the appeals court to throw out a lower court ruling that would force Argentina to pay the Elliott group each time it makes a payment to them.

The rivals have argued they won’t get their money if that happens because Argentina President Cristina Kirchner has vowed the country will never pay so-called “holdout creditors” who refused to go along with two separate debt restructurings in recent years.

Kirchner’s comments led to speculation the country was devising a way to pay the other bondholders outside of the US, which would create a technical default. Elliott repeated those speculations in several briefs recently.

Singer’s change of tune comes after an appeals court temporarily overturned part of the lower court ruling ordering the escrow payment.

An appeals court hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27.

12. WTO TO PROBE ARGENTINA TRADE DISPUTES (Dow Jones Top News & Commentary)

28 January 2013

The World Trade Organization on Monday established a dispute resolution panel to probe allegations of unfair trade practices lodged against Argentina by the U.S., the E.U. and Japan.

It also created a panel to look into Argentina’s claim that the U.S. has imposed unfair barriers to its meat exports.

In the first case, the three complainants have attacked Argentina’s import licensing rules, which among other things require firms eager to export goods to the country to import Argentinian goods in exchange.

One of the most well-known examples is that of German car maker Porsche, which was forced to commit to purchasing Argentinian wine and olive oil in order to get around 100 of its cars into the country.

Canadian mobile phone maker RiM, which makes the Blackberry, was meanwhile forced to open a production unit in southern Argentina in order to continue selling its phones.

On Monday, Argentina told the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Board that it had taken measures since January 25 to calm the tensions, stressing that it had repealed “all non-automatic import licenses”.

The complainants however told the board they were “not convinced” by the measures taken by Argentina, a source close to the matter said.

The WTO’s dispute settlement board also established a second panel Monday to look into Argentina’s claims that Washington has blocked meat imports.

Buenos Aires has accused the U.S. of imposing measures over the past 11 years that have in effect closed off the U.S. market to Argentinian beef.

Argentina has also criticized the U.S. for not recognizing that the Patagonia region is free of the foot and mouth disease, despite a clean bill of health from the World Organization for Animal Health.

The U.S. meanwhile insisted Monday that it was fully compliant with its obligations under the WTO agreements, but said U.S. authorities were in the process of evaluating sanitary issues related to Argentinian products.

According to WTO rules, the panels each have up to six months to report their findings.

13. WTO PANELS TO REVIEW ARGENTINA, US, EU, JAPAN TRADE DISPUTES (Dow Jones Global Equities News)

By Taos Turner

28 January 2013

BUENOS AIRES–The World Trade Organization has set up two dispute resolution panels to examine trade complaints between Argentina, the U.S., the European Union and Japan.

One panel will review claims that Argentina has violated WTO rules by impeding imports from the U.S., the EU and Japan, according to documents reviewed Monday by Dow Jones Newswires.

The other will examine Argentine claims that the U.S. is inappropriately blocking imports of meat and other animal products.

Argentina claims that the U.S. has shut off its market to certain fresh, chilled or frozen beef products for the past decade. Argentina had also previously said the U.S. was blocking imports of lemons from the South American country.

Last year, the U.S., Europe and Japan challenged Argentina’s use of “non-automatic import licenses,” as well as other practices, to curb trade.

Last week, however, Argentina’s government said it would stop using such techniques to stop or delay imports, leading an importers’ association spokesman to say this would effectively make the related WTO complaints void.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner is a staunch advocate of “import substitution” policies aimed at reducing imports in a bid to protect local industry.

Mrs. Kirchner, and her industry minister, Debora Giorgi, frequently tout the policies, saying they are largely responsible for Argentina’s economic growth over the past decade and for the resurgence of domestic manufacturing.

14. CAP ON PRICE HIKES WILL HURT A SIGNIFICANT SOURCE OF ARGENTINE BANKS’ EARNINGS (Business News Americas)

28 January 2013

The Argentine central bank’s recent announcement that it will limit local banks’ fee increases by no more than 10% will hurt an important source of their earnings, challenging lenders to diversify their product range and increase business volume to compensate for lower fees at a time when economic activity is depressed, Moody’s said in a research note.

Argentine banks were seeking to raise fees by 25% this year to keep up with private economists’ annual inflation estimate of 25%.

And since the government’s disputed measure of inflation has been around the 10% mark for a number of years, the monetary entity’s decision can be seen as an attempt to aid consumers struggling to keep up with the country’s rampant inflation.

Persistently high inflation challenges banks’ profitability because of its effects on operating costs that may not be included in banking service prices, Moody’s said.

Fees and commissions derived from banking services accounted for 59% of operating expenses in January-November, an important and stable contribution that helps alleviate increasing and inflexible operating costs.

These fees were also roughly 27% of banks’ earnings over the past three years, providing an important profitability driver as lending volumes rose.

“This measure will affect all banks, although small banks will be less able to find alternative sources of earnings, reflecting their more limited range of products and client base,” Moody’s assistant VP Valeria Azconegui wrote.

RISING COSTS, SLOWING GROWTH

Personnel expenses account for almost 60% of local banks’ operating costs and banks tend to adjust them annually by inflation, according to negotiations with the banking trade union.

During 2010-12, bank employees’ annual wage adjustments had been 25-29%, and for 2013 are around 24%.

To offset such costs, Argentine banks rely on fees and commissions on loans, deposits and banking services.

Furthermore, the cap on price hikes comes at a time when decelerating loan demand and rising loan delinquencies are already jeopardizing banks’ earnings.

The pace of loan growth slowed down in 2012 to 28% in the year ended November from 36% year-on-year in June and 43% in March, while the non-performing loan (NPLs) ratio worsened to 1.6% as of end-November from 1.2% at the same time in 2011.

Until 2011, high inflation existed alongside strong economic growth, mitigating the effects of rising consumer prices. However, starting in 2012, economic growth in Argentina slowed.

The ratings agency is expecting real GDP growth in Argentina of around 3.2% in 2012 and 3.9% in 2013, significantly below the 8.9% reported in 2011.

All in all, the cap on price hikes is another direct and significant government intervention in the local banks’ business activities.

Last year, the central bank introduced lending-rate caps for certain business lines and required the country’s 30 largest banks to lend 5% of their private-sector deposits to large companies and SMEs at a set lending rate.

And at the beginning of this year, the monetary entity requested the same banks to lend an additional 5% of their private-sector deposits to the same segments.

15. ARGENTINA ECONOMY: QUICK VIEW – INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT CONTRACTS IN 2012 (Economist Intelligence Unit – ViewsWire)

28 January 2013

Event

Industrial production ended 2012 on a weak note, falling by 0.6% in seasonally adjusted month-on-month terms in December, and by 3.8% year on year. The weak year-end numbers mean that, for the full-year, industrial production was down by 1.2%.

Analysis

The contraction in industrial output was the first since 2009 and the worst result in a decade. Last year’s downturn in Brazil was an important factor. Argentina’s industrial output is highly correlated to that of Brazil, which was down by 2.7% year on year in the first 11 months of the year (full-year industrial output data are not yet available for Brazil). The imposition of import and foreign-exchange controls in the past year has also hit Argentina’s manufacturing and construction sectors hard. Manufacturers have faced difficulty in accessing imported inputs ever since strict controls were imposed in February 2012. The construction industry, meanwhile, has suffered the effects of a steep decline in real estate activity, reflecting falling confidence and a lack of access to foreign currency in a market that has traditionally been priced in dollars.

On a positive note, there were nascent signs of recovery in the automotive industry in December. Although there was a seasonal decline in production, in year-on-year terms auto production actually rose by 16.3% in December, bringing year-on-year growth for the fourth quarter up to 8.5% after contractions of close to 10% in the third quarter and close to 30% in the second. There was, however, little sign of a pick-up in activity elsewhere. Paper was the worst performing sector, falling by 11.5% in year-on-year terms. It was followed by basic metals (down by 9.5%), chemicals and plastics (down by 7.3%) and food-processing (down by 4.1%).

16. ARGENTINA ECONOMY: QUICK VIEW – GOVERNMENT REMOVES NON-AUTOMATIC IMPORT LICENSES (Economist Intelligence Unit – ViewsWire)

28 January 2013

Event

On January 24th the government announced that non-automatic import licences on around 600 products would be lifted. In the same week, however, the government also raised extra-Mercosur import tariffs on many items to the maximum 35%.

Analysis

Argentina’s use of non-automatic trade licences had intensified in recent years in response to persistent real peso appreciation. Although they are within the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), many countries, including Argentina’s Mercosur partners, have complained that the import licences do in fact restrict trade, as delays in processing licences greatly exceed the 60-day limit. As a result, the US, the EU and 12 other countries filed an official complaint against the country at the WTO last year. Argentina has also suffered periodic retaliatory measures from major trade partners, including Brazil (which temporarily blocked automotive imports from the country in 2011) and China (which blocked soya oil imports in 2010).

The lifting of the non-automatic licensing requirement should help to simplify paperwork for some importers. However, the comprehensive system of controls under which all imports must be approved by the interior commerce secretariat will remain firmly in place. This means that imports will remain subject to discretionary controls as the government attempts to prop up the trade surplus amid persistent real appreciation of the local currency and still-high capital flight. At the same time, the government’s recent decision to raise the common external tariff (CET) on 100 items to 35% (the maximum allowed by the WTO), suggests that exporters, outside Mercosur at least, will remain unhappy with trade protectionism in Argentina.

17. ARGENTINA SEEKS MORE IMPORTS AS INFLATION RISES, RESERVES FALL (Market News International)

By Charles Newbery

28 January 2013

Argentina this week likely will extend efforts to contain inflation and central bank reserves after easing import restrictions last week.

The government Friday scrapped a requirement on importers to secure prior authorization on certain goods, a mechanism used over the past year to protect a worsening trade balance and dwindling hard-currency reserves.

Now importers can return to the prior system of automatically renewable licenses for products including cars, household items, leather goods, motorcycles, textiles and toys, mostly from neighboring countries.

The aim is to boost the supply of goods to help slow inflation, which economists have said could pick up pace to 30% this year from 25% in 2012 as the economy expands more than twice as fast at 3% than in 2012.

The International Monetary Fund is due to issue a statement Friday on last week’s board meeting to discuss whether the government’s calculation of CPI data violates its IMF obligations. The data is widely considered to be manipulated to appear lower.

High inflation is pushing up wage demands, making it harder for companies to keep down prices even as consumption slows. Shopping mall sales rose 3.2% in November 2012 on the year, far less than the 22% growth rate in the year-earlier period, according to the latest government data.

The government will report December supermarket sales Tuesday, followed Thursday by public services consumption and construction activity for the same period.

Consumer confidence is slipping, too. It fell 18% in January on the year, according to the Torcuato de Tella University in Buenos Aires.

With prices rising, people have begun to invest in products to try to beat inflation, no longer able to readily buy dollars for saving since the government made the practice illegal last year.

Even personal finance experts have started to recommend buying high-end wines and spirits to resell them in the future, or stocking up on essential goods for future consumption.

Economists say trading on the black market will remain steady as a way to secure dollars to save, even if buyers must pay 50% more than on the official market. The parallel rate closed at about 7.40 per dollar last week compared with the official rate of 4.92.

The illegal trading is hitting international reserves, which continued to drop last week to $42.8 billion following a 6.7% decline in 2012.

18. YPF, ANCAP MULL JOINT E&P PROJECTS IN ARGENTINA, URUGUAY (Platts Commodity News)

By Charles Newbery

28 January 2013

Buenos Aires (Platts)–28Jan2013/520 pm EST/2220 GMT State-run Argentinian energy company YPF and its Uruguayan counterpart, ANCAP, are considering teaming up to boost oil and natural gas exploration and production in both countries, YPF said Monday.

YPF CEO Miguel Galuccio and ANCAP president Raul Sendic discussed the possibilities at a meeting Monday in Montevideo, YPF said.

“The meeting’s chief aim was to start to evaluate the opportunities for synergies between the two companies,” YPF said.

Sendic said ANCAP wants to step up exploration and production, including outside of Uruguay. This could involve developing mature fields in neighboring Argentina as well as in Venezuela in partnership with YPF or other companies, he said.

Another possibility is for ANCAP to team up with YPF on developing shale resources in Vaca Muerta, a play in southwestern Argentina thought to have huge potential.

YPF has large acreage in the play and is seeking partners to develop the resources, with Argentina’s Bridas and US-based Chevron already close to finalizing multi-million-dollar deals to start drilling wells later in 2013.

ANCAP said such a project in Vaca Muerta would work as a sort of “school” for training the company to develop its own shale resources.

ANCAP and YPF also discussed possible oil refining, energy infrastructure and logistics, and natural gas projects, without providing details, and the possibility of producing energy from waste to help diversify their energy supplies, the Argentinian company said.

“Hopefully in the near future we can do more things together with the gas pipelines and the rivers that unite us,” Sendic said.

For his part, Galuccio said the companies will seek ways to step up offshore exploration together. YPF is exploring two blocks off the coast of Uruguay in partnership with Brazil’s Petrobras and Portugal’s Galp.

Uruguay is seeking to develop its own oil and gas supplies to improve its energy security and reduce its reliance on imported energy and domestic hydro-electric power.

The country consumes about 300,000 cu m/d of Argentinian gas and 50,000 b/d of oil, the latter of which is processed at one refinery. Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA, supplies crude to the refinery.

=================================== MONDAY —

 

 

1. ARGENTINA AND IRAN AGREE TO INTERROGATE SUSPECTS IN JEWISH CENTER BOMBING IN TEHERAN (The Washington Post)

January 27, 2013

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina and Iran reached a breakthrough Sunday in the investigation of a Jewish center bombing that killed 85 people in Buenos Aires 19 years ago, agreeing to establish an independent international “truth commission” led by a jurist “with high moral standing and legal prestige” to examine Argentina’s worst terrorist attack.

The commissioners will examine the evidence and recommend how to proceed “based on the laws and regulations of both countries.” Then, commissioners and Argentine investigators will travel to Teheran to question the suspects.

“Historic” was how President Cristina Fernandez described the agreement signed Sunday in Africa by foreign ministers Hector Timerman and Ali Akbar Salehi.

A van loaded with fertilizer and fuel oil was exploded on July 18, 1994, leveling the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building. As with a separate attack that destroyed Israel’s embassy in Buenos Aires two years earlier, killing 29, it has never been solved.

Argentine prosecutors have formally accused six Iranians of coordinating the AMIA attack under orders from their government. Among them is Iran’s current defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi. The Argentines have spent years seeking to interrogate them with the help of Interpol, but Iran’s government has refused until now to make them available.

Previous Argentine probes resulted “only in failures and scandal, with a trial that ended up being a farce” after high-level officials were accused of covering up evidence and deliberately misdirecting investigators, Fernandez said in a series of tweets.

In contrast, this process, which needs legislative approval in both nations, provides a legal framework with due-process rights for the accused that could be a model for conflict resolution, Fernandez said, and it puts the dispute firmly in the hands of legal experts overseen by independent arbitrators.

She called it, “Historic, because never will we allow the AMIA tragedy to be used as a chess piece in a game of faraway geopolitical interests,” she tweeted.

Jewish groups, however, made clear their discomfort at Argentina’s efforts to improve relations with Iran despite the unresolved bombing case.

“It is a monumental step backward,” Luis Czyzewski, who lost his daughter Paola in the bombing, told Argentina’s Jewish News Agency on Sunday. “I think all the families will reject it and be as angry as I am.” A description of the agreement by Iran’s FARS news agency said years of Argentine investigations “have failed to advance the case or prove anything against Iran, indicating that Iran is innocent.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in October that once “investigations take place in an accurate and impartial manner, then the ground will be prepared for the expansion of ties between Iran and Argentina,” the FARS report said.

2. DEAL REACHED FOR INQUIRY ON BOMBING IN ARGENTINA (The New York Times)

By Emily Schmall

January 27, 2013

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina announced Sunday that it had reached an agreement with Iran to establish a joint commission to investigate the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center here.

Nearly 19 years ago, a suicide bomber drove a van full of explosives into the Argentina Israelite Mutual Association headquarters, killing 85 people and wounding about 300. Like a previous attack two years earlier that leveled Israel’s embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29, it has never been solved.

The initial investigation into the community center bombing was thrown out in 2005 on accusations of corruption and incompetence by Argentine authorities, some of whom would later be charged for misconduct.

A special prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, has since taken over the investigation and accused Hezbollah, the Lebanese group with strong ties to Iran and Syria, of carrying out the bombing and senior Iranian officials of planning and financing it. Mr. Nisman declined to comment on the new agreement.

Iran has refused to carry out international arrest warrants for nine people Argentina suspects in the attacks. But under the agreement, it will now permit prosecutors to interrogate suspects in Tehran. The suspects include a former Iranian president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Iran’s defense minister, Gen. Ahmad Vahidi.

The accord stipulates that the two countries establish a five-member commission of international law experts. None can be of Argentine or Iranian nationality.

The accord, signed in Ethiopia, concluded several rounds of talks between Argentina’s foreign minister, Héctor Timerman, and his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi.

“Eighteen years of effort have failed to advance the case or prove anything against Iran, indicating that Iran is innocent,” the Tehran-based Fars news agency said in its lead story Sunday.

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner hailed the accord as “historic.”

“The attack was followed only by failures and scandals. The trial ended up a farce,” Mrs. Kirchner wrote on social networks. “We will never allow the A.M.I.A. tragedy to be used like a chess piece in geopolitical affairs,” she said, referring to the Argentine Mutual Aid Association, the center that was bombed in 1994.

Each country has reasons to reach out. Iran is a consumer of Argentina’s agricultural commodities, an especially important tie as Argentina’s economy slows. Iran’s trade with Argentina has grown by 200 percent in the last few years, to more than $1.2 billion.

For its part, Iran is eager to counter its diplomatic isolation, expanding on the ties it has forged in Latin American nations like Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Jewish groups, however, were wary of the negotiations.

“Argentina is legitimizing Iran’s style of governance and getting nothing in return,” said Guillermo Borger, the president of the Argentine Mutual Aid Association.

3. ARGENTINA HAS WEEK TO PRESENT DEBT CASE (Financial Times)

By Jude Webber in Buenos Aires

January 27, 2013

Argentina has a week to marshal arguments as it tries to convince a US court that it should not have to pay $1.33bn to holders of its defaulted debt.

It could be a tough week. On Friday, the day that Argentina must submit its brief to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, the International Monetary Fund’s board meets to decide whether to censure the country for its faulty inflation data in what would be an unprecedented step and an embarrassment for the member of the G20 group of leading economies.

Funds led by Elliott, which spurned two offers to restructure the nearly $100bn on which Argentina defaulted in 2001, urged the court in briefs filed late on Friday to uphold an earlier ruling by New York judge Thomas Griesa, which is frozen, ordering Argentina to pay “holdouts” when it paid holders of its performing debt.

That order sought to ensure respect for the pari passu, or in equal step, clause in the defaulted bonds by ensuring that Argentina could not pick and choose between payment obligations. The Second Circuit court had asked Judge Griesa to clarify how his order would work in practice and the written arguments are the prelude to a February 27 courtroom showdown, after which the Second Circuit will rule.

While Judge Griesa’s order tried to prevent banks and agents from helping Argentina move payment out of New York – raising the spectre of a fresh default if Buenos Aires refused to pay the holdouts – Elliott and other funds reject fears that the case will imperil future sovereign restructurings and New York’s pivotal role in world finance.

The messy case, has, however, revived calls for an IMF-backed bankruptcy regime for countries.

“As this court already has affirmed, Argentina has the means to meet all of its obligations. Its choice not to do so would be entirely its own,” the Elliott brief said.

Argentina’s stance would, furthermore, be the death knell to truly voluntary sovereign restructurings, it argued. It likened Argentina’s stance of offering “pennies on the dollar” to creditors and repudiating any that rejected the offer to Captain Renault in the movie “Casablanca”, when he said: “It is a little game we play. They put it on the bill, I tear up the bill. It is very convenient.”

But Elliott added: “Capital will not follow such capriciousness indefinitely, and the emerging market countries most in need of external funding ultimately will be the ones who suffer if creditors lose faith that their contracts will be enforced.”

This brief puts pressure on the government

– Eugenio Bruno, lawyer

Argentina, which says it is barred by the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and its own law from complying with Judge Griesa’s order, has belatedly floated the idea of reopening its debt restructuring as a fair solution, arguing that more than 92 per cent of creditors swapped their defaulted debt for new bonds in restructurings in 2005 and 2010.

But Elliott rejected any attempt to “cram down” holdouts and said Buenos Aires was trying to rehash old ground and the appeals court process “was not an opportunity for plenary reconsideration, much less an invitation to Argentina to begin haggling with the court”. It accused Argentina of “grasping at straws”.

“This brief puts pressure on the government,” said Eugenio Bruno, a lawyer in Buenos Aires who is advising performing bondholders. He expected the government to try to beef up its foreign sovereign immunity arguments and stress that payments to bondholders are protected by trust agreements.

Argentina said Judge Griesa ruling threatened its ability to service $24bn in restructured debt.

Meanwhile, a holdout lobby group, the American Task Force Argentina, has organised a rally by a small body of Argentine pensioners in New York on Tuesday “to decry … [the government’s] refusal to honour its ongoing debt obligations and restore their life savings”. The task force group said the case had affected tens of thousands of ageing creditors.

4. ARGENTINA, IRAN TO FORM “TRUTH COMMISSION” FOR 1994 BOMBING (Reuters News)

Bby Guido Nejamkis and Helen Popper

January 27, 2013

(Reuters) – Argentina said on Sunday it had agreed with Iran to establish a “truth commission” in a bid to resolve the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center that Argentine courts accuse the Iran of sponsoring.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez agreed to open talks with Tehran on the attack last year in a sharp change in diplomatic policy that irked Israel and drew criticism from Jewish leaders in Buenos Aires and the United States.

Fernandez said foreign ministers from Argentina and Iran had signed a memorandum of understanding during a meeting in Ethiopia.

The accord establishes a truth commission made up of foreign legal experts “to analyze all the documentation presented to date by the judicial authorities of Argentina and Iran,” Fernandez said in a series of Twitter messages.

Fernandez, who has close ties with other Latin American leaders who are on good terms with Tehran, such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, hailed the agreement as historic.

The five commissioners will be jointly nominated and will not be residents of Argentina or Iran, according to a document posted on Fernandez’s Facebook page.

After analyzing the evidence, “the commission will give its vision and issue a report with recommendations about how the case should proceed within the legal and regulatory framework of both parties,” according to the agreement.

It also outlines plans for Argentine legal officials to meet in Tehran to question “those people for whom Interpol has issued a red notice.”

“For the first time, it will be possible for suspects identified by Argentina’s justice system to be questioned by the judge and prosecutor in the case,” Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said in a statement.

In 2007, Argentine authorities secured Interpol arrest warrants for five Iranians and a Lebanese in the bombing of the center, which killed 85 people. Iran denies links to the attack.

Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi is among the Iranian officials sought by Argentina, which is home to Latin America’s largest Jewish community.

Western and Israeli sources have voiced concerns that Argentina may have lost its interest in pursuing investigations of the 1994 attack, as well as the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people two years earlier.

The Islamic Jihad Organization, believed to be linked to Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, claimed responsibility for the 1992 bombing.

Fernandez said the accord, which must be ratified by Congress, showed Argentina “would never let the tragedy (attack) become a chess piece in the game of wider geopolitical interests.”

“Dialogue (is) the only way to resolve conflicts between countries, however severe they are,” she said via Twitter.

5. ARGENTINA SUSPENDS WTO COMPLAINT AFTER SPAIN ENDS BIOFUELS CURBS (Bloomberg News)

By Jennifer M. Freedman

January 25, 2013

Argentina suspended a trade complaint against the European Union over Spanish biofuel curbs after Spain dropped its plan.

The Spanish government issued a law in April last year requiring that only EU fuel could meet quotas for biofuels used in transport. That prompted a World Trade Organization challenge by Argentina, the world’s largest exporter of soybean biodiesel, which said the plan was discriminatory and a violation of WTO rules. Spain said on Oct. 16 that it would abandon the order incorporating the EU’s renewable energy law into national legislation.

“We decided not to proceed with the case,” Enrique Ferrer, a diplomat in Argentina’s mission in Geneva, said in a telephone interview today. “Spain’s government issued a new decree, so for the time being we are able to export biodiesel to Spain. We are still following it very closely to see if our exports don’t have any problems in the market and then we won’t proceed with the case.”

The EU said its order was designed to protect the environment by increasing the use of renewable energy and to contribute to the security of the energy supply. Argentina’s Foreign Ministry said the real intention was retaliation after President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government seized a 51 percent YPF SA stake from Spain’s Repsol SA (REP) in April.

Spanish Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said on April 16, the same day YPF was nationalized, that his government would take “decisive” action against Argentina within days. The seizure of YPF could not be challenged under WTO rules.

Spanish Retreat

Marking a retreat from Soria’s threat to retaliate with “clear and decisive” measures on trade, industry and energy, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said on April 20 that Spain would undermine demand for Argentine biodiesel by offering incentives to use Spanish and EU biodiesel.

Fernandez and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy are both due to attend a summit of the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States starting in Santiago tomorrow.

Relations between Argentina and its major trading partners have soured under Fernandez’s presidency and led to the Latin American country’s growing political and economic isolation. Along with the EU, the U.S. and Japan have complained separately at the WTO about Argentina’s import policies, saying they hinder foreign goods and discriminate between imported and domestic products.

“The measure in question foresees a procedure for allocation of biodiesels quantities among producers, and only biodiesels from producers with an assigned quantity would count towards meeting compulsory targets on the use of biofuels,” John Clancy, a European Commission spokesman, said in an e- mailed reply to questions. “Additionally, in December, Spain amended certain aspects of the ministerial order subject of the complaint.”

The 27-nation EU is Argentina’s second-biggest trading partner after Brazil. Argentina’s $448 billion economy is South America’s largest, after Brazil

6. ARGENTINA, IRAN AGREE TO FORM TRUTH COMMISSION OVER 1994 BOMBING (Dow Jones News Service)

By Taos Turner

27 January 2013

BUENOS AIRES–Argentina and Iran have agreed to create a “truth commission” to investigate the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and left many more injured.

Argentine authorities have long claimed that Iranian officials were involved in the attack, yet little progress has been made in bringing anyone to justice.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner said the commission was “historic” and that it will allow Argentine investigators to travel to Iran to interrogate anyone who has received a “red notice” from the international police organization, Interpol.

Issuing a red notice is roughly equivalent to naming someone to an international wanted persons list. In 2007, Interpol issued red notices for six people whom Argentina sought in connection with the case.

At the time, Interpol decided not to issue a red notice to former Iranian president Ali Rafsanjany, former Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati or the former Iranian ambassador to Argentina, Hadi Soleimanpour.

In 2003, Mr. Soleimanpour was detained in London in connection to the bombing, setting off a diplomatic conflict between Argentina and Iran.

Iran suspended commercial ties to the South American nation and the conflict cost Argentina millions in lost agricultural exports.

According to the agreement signed Sunday, the commission will consist of five international jurors, none of whom can be from Argentina or Iran, and two other delegates.

“We think this is historic because the family members [of the victims] will get what they always wanted, for the case to move forward,” Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said in an interview with Argentina’s state-run news agency, Telam.

Argentina is home to the second-largest Jewish community in the Americas after the U.S.

The bombing was the largest in Argentine history and came just two years after another explosion destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing around two dozen people.

7. ARGENTINA, IRAN AGREE ON JOINT PANEL TO PROBE 1994 BOMBING (Business Week)

By Philip Sanders

January 27, 2013

Argentina and Iran agreed to set up an international commission to investigate the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, according to a joint declaration by their foreign ministries today.

The commission will have five members, two of them designated by each country, while the president will be agreed upon jointly.

The blast in July 1994, which left 85 people dead, was the second terror attack in the city in a two-year span, following a 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy. Argentina has accused current and former Iranian officials, including Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, of involvement. Iran has rejected the accusations.

“It’s an important step that’s been taken by the two countries because this case has been around for 18 years,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters today in Addis Ababa, where he’s attending an African Union summit. “It’s about time for it to be resolved.”

The commission will review documents supplied by both countries and be able to interrogate suspects in Iran, according to the statement.

Israel has warned the Argentine government “not to let itself be manipulated” in discussions to set up the panel, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem today.

“Obviously, anyone who has tried to cooperate on anything with Iran has found themselves tricked and ridiculed,” Palmor said. “We are a party in all this and expect to be kept up to date on the findings.”

8. HOLDOUT CREDITORS TO U.S. COURT: ARGENTINA MUST PAY UP (Reuters News)

By Martha Graybow and Jonathan Stempel

25 January 2013

* Holdout creditors say not an injustice to be paid

* Argentina says case could threaten billions in debt

* US appeals court showdown set for Feb. 27

NEW YORK, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Investors who refused to join two sovereign debt restructurings by Argentina are urging a U.S. court to force the country to pay them, in a case whose outcome could make it much harder for emerging market countries facing cash crunches to borrow money.

These investors, who own Argentina bonds that have been in default for a decade, are demanding the $1.33 billion that a federal judge said must be paid when the South American country makes a payment on its restructured bonds.

The demand came one month ahead of a Feb. 27 showdown before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.

Argentina is seeking to have the appeals court overturn a finding in favor of the “holdout” creditors, which are led by NML Capital Ltd, part of a firm run by billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer, and the Aurelius Capital Management funds.

But in written arguments submitted to that court on Friday, Aurelius said Argentina must stop going “far beyond the reach of accountability” by letting holdouts go unpaid for more than a decade even as it pays holders of restructured bonds.

“It is hardly an injustice to have legal rulings which, at long last, mean that Argentina must pay the debts which it owes,” Aurelius said, quoting an earlier decision in the case.

The case stems from Argentina’s $100 billion debt default in 2002, and has been pursued in U.S. courts because they have jurisdiction under Argentina’s bond contracts with investors.

NML, an affiliate of Elliott Management Corp, in a separate brief Friday said the “stability of this sophisticated market, and voluntary restructurings in general, depends critically upon courts’ willingness to enforce all the terms in such contracts.”

NOT ONE DOLLAR

Holdouts refused to take part in debt restructurings in 2005 and 2010 in which about 92 percent of the bondholders received between 25 cents and 29 cents on the dollar.

This stance angered investors who joined the swaps, and Argentina has called the holdouts “vultures.”

The 2nd Circuit issued a key decision in October finding that Argentina must treat all bondholders equally, rather than allow holders of restructured debt to have priority.

That largely upheld earlier decisions by U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in Manhattan, who oversees much of the litigation.

Then in November, Griesa ordered Argentina to pay $1.33 billion into escrow for the holdouts when it paid restructured bondholders. The 2nd Circuit later put that order on hold so Argentina could appeal.

But Argentina does not want its ability to pay holders of restructured bonds to be conditioned on a requirement that it pay the holdouts.

In a filing last month, Argentina argued that paying the holdouts would threaten its ability to service $24 billion of restructured debt.

It said it could try to resolve the litigation by reopening the restructuring upon legislative approval, but the holdouts are viewed as unlikely to accept that.

NML said Friday it was “difficult to believe” Argentina would avoid making the payment and risk another default when it has $40 billion in reserves.

ADDRESSING SOVEREIGN DEBT CRISES

The case is seen as having broad reach, potentially impeding the abilities of countries to respond to economic crises in the face of resistance from creditors.

And in court papers last year, the U.S. government said that to award full payment to the holdouts could undermine efforts to encourage global efforts to address sovereign debt crises.

A loss for Argentina would be a setback for President Cristina Fernandez, who is trying to avert a potential “technical default” on tens of billions of dollars of debt. She has said the country will not pay “one dollar” to the holdouts.

The case is NML Capital Ltd et al v. Argentina, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 12-105.

9. HOLDOUT INVESTORS ARGUE THAT ARGENTINA SHOULD PAY ITS DEBT (Dow Jones Global Equities News)

By Taos Turner

25 January 2013

BUENOS AIRES–The owners of bonds defaulted on by Argentina’s government in 2001 submitted a formal argument to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, urging the court to make the South American nation pay its debt.

The bond owners, known as holdout creditors because they refused to accept offers by Argentina to pay less than the bonds’ full value, argued that the court should uphold an injunction obligating Argentina to pay the holdouts when it pays other bondholders who accepted the government’s offer.

Argentina “has voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts and is fully able to comply with the injunction,” the holdout creditors said in the argument.

The holdouts are led by Elliott Management Corp.’s NML Capital Ltd., a group founded by U.S. billionaire Paul Singer, and Aurelius Capital.

The case stems from Argentina’s sovereign default in 2001, when the country was entering an unprecedented economic and political crisis.

About 93% of the nearly $100 million of defaulted bonds were tendered in 2005 and 2010, but a few holdouts didn’t accept the deal, which offered just 33 cents on the dollar. Those investors have challenged Argentina in courts across the globe to collect the full value of the bonds.

New York Federal Judge Thomas Griesa awarded the holdouts about $1.3 billion, a sum that Argentina vowed not to pay, and to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

The Second Circuit court decided Nov. 28 to temporarily suspend the ruling, which had jeopardized over $3 billion in bond payments due in mid-December. The court has set a Feb. 27 date to consider Argentina’s request for a rehearing.

Joining the case to argue for the Second Circuit to overturn the ruling are bondholders who accepted the swaps led by Gramercy Funds Management LLC, a creditor with more than $1 billion of the restructured bonds and Fintech Advisory Inc.

10. ARGENTINA SEEN EASING GOVERNMENT CONTROLS TO BOOST ECONOMY WITH EYE ON OCTOBER ELECTIONS (Business News Americas)

25 January 2013

The government of Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is likely to gradually ease some of its interventionist policies this year to boost the economy with an eye on October’s mid-term elections, said Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) in a research note.

The government’s aggressive trade protectionist strategy to reduce imports succeeded in a preserving the country’s trade balance, but came at the high cost of severely depressing investment and overall economic activity, the US investment bank noted.

The official 12-month accumulative GDP growth figure was 2.2% in November. For the full year, the economy is expected to have grown by 1.5-2%.

The government’s highly interventionist policies are considered by many observers to be the main reason for the sharp economic slowdown that Argentina suffered last year. The country had been growing at annual rates of 8-10% for several years, although the country’s official inflation and GDP figures have recently been called into question by the IMF and others.

“Since the import and foreign exchange controls have contributed to depressing activity in 2012, we expect the authorities to gradually alleviate some of the most binding controls in order to stimulate the economy ahead of the pivotal October midterm legislative elections,” said Goldman Sachs.

Argentina’s economic fortunes this year will also depend on its agriculture sector and the pace of the expected recovery of the Brazilian economy.

The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac) and the IMF forecast that the Argentine economy will grow this year by 3.9% and 3.1%, respectively, while the more bearish Capital Economics predicts a contraction due to the economy’s “persistent structural problems.”

11. ARGENTINA LIFTS SOME CONTROVERSIAL TRADE BARRIERS (Dow Jones Global Equities News)

By Taos Turner

25 January 2013

BUENOS AIRES–Argentina’s government lifted a series of controversial trade barriers that curbed economic growth last year and led the U.S., the European Union and others to claim it was violating World Trade Organization rules.

The move comes a day after the Argentine government reported that industrial production fell last year for the first time in a decade, partly because of trade barriers that made it impossible for some manufacturers to get critical imports.

“This is very important,” said Miguel Ponce, spokesman for the Argentine Import Chamber. “This makes all those complaints at the WTO null. It implies the country is betting on greater trade, and that we can maintain our trade surplus through more exports and not through trade barriers.”

The new trade rules, published Friday in the Official Bulletin, get rid of most of the so-called non-automatic licenses that required importers to get special approval to buy certain goods. The licenses, along with other trade barriers, have severely hobbled trade with Brazil, Argentina’s top trade partner, but also curbed trade with other countries.

Though the new rules should make it easier to import certain goods, other obstacles remain in place and could continue to hinder trade. Companies will still have to present sworn affidavits when seeking import permits.

“The sworn affidavits are now the only tool left that the government has [to impede trade] and they apply to all products,” said Mr. Ponce. “We’ll have to see how effective the elimination of these licenses is in practical terms. But this is a step in the right direction and it aims to make the industrial sector more competitive.”

Fausto Spotorno, of the economic research firm Orlando J. Ferreres & Asociados, said the new rules aim to improve trade within the regional customs union known as Mercosur.

“This basically benefits those who are already in Mercosur,” said Mr. Spotorno.

Mercosur’s founding members include Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, though the vast bulk of trade is between Argentina and Brazil.

Mercosur’s members recently moved to raise import duties on some goods from non-member nations.

The new rules lift licensing requirements for such goods as auto parts, textiles, tires, motorcycles, bicycle tubes and paper.

Mr. Spotorno said making it easier to import auto parts is particularly good news for Argentina’s automotive sector, which is a key driver of the country’s manufacturing industry.

In recent years, importers have said the government often manages trade through informal means, including threatening phone calls from government officials aimed at dissuading companies from importing certain goods. Government officials such as Domestic Commerce Secretary Guillermo Moreno have repeatedly declined to comment on such claims.

In a rare interview with a government-friendly newspaper earlier this week, Mr. Moreno said the government would begin easing import barriers as global economic conditions improve.

“To the degree that the international crisis dissipates, controls on imports will also be relaxed,” Mr. Moreno was quoted as saying in the daily Pagina 12.

Argentina started severely cracking down on imports in 2011, partly to protect domestic manufacturing and partly to curb the use of U.S. dollars needed to pay for imported goods.

In late 2011, the government also started rationing the sale of dollars and other currencies to ensure it had enough of them itself to make debt payments.

In making it virtually impossible for many people and companies to buy dollars, the government was able to maintain a trade surplus as well as end the outflow of dollars that totaled around $50 billion over the past four years.

But the import barriers and currency controls crimped industrial production and virtually ground the economy to a halt last year, proving to counterproductive in many ways.

In August, the U.S. joined Japan and the EU to challenge Argentina’s import rules at the WTO. Argentina countered by saying it would challenge U.S. restrictions on beef and citrus imports.

Argentina is one of the world’s most active countries in terms of using trade barriers, according to Global Trade Alert, which tracks trade around the world.

Argentina posted a trade surplus of almost $12.7 billion in 2012, up 27% from the previous year.

Economists say record soybean exports this year and lower debt payments should combine to give the government more dollars. That could make it easier for the government to ease currency controls and other import barriers, economists say.

12. ARGENTINE INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT FALLS IN 2012 (IHS Global Insight Daily Analysis)

By Laurence Allan

25 January 2013

Argentine industrial production fell in 2012 for the first time in 10 years, according to data released yesterday (24 January) by the state National Institute for Statistics and Census (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos: Indec). The data revealed a pronounced fall in production of 3.4% in December 2012, which contributed to an overall fall in 2012 output of 1.2% compared with 2011. Through 2012, the sectors most notably affected by lower production were automobiles (6.6%) and metallurgic industries (8.7%). Those results are likely to have been prompted by a slackening of exports from the automobile sector to Brazil, by far Argentina’s largest export market , as the Brazilian economy slowed to 1% GDP growth during 2012. It is unclear whether Argentine trade barriers and Brazilian reaction to them played any role in the slowing of industrial production.

Nonetheless, and despite the gloomy news on 2012, the Argentine state news agency Telam yesterday cited survey evidence that Argentine businesses remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects for 2013, with 67.7% assessing stable internal demand, 58.3% stable export demand, and 21.6% anticipating increased external demand.

Significance: The fall in production further illustrates the key importance of the Brazilian market to the Argentine economy, a fact that gives Brazil significant leverage over Argentina should it choose to exercise it. However, despite Argentina taking ad hoc measures which have provoked serious concerns amongst Brazil’s business classes, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has not only recently explicitly pushed Argentina on the issue, generally preferring to let quiet bilateral diplomacy take its course (see Argentina: 29 November 2012: ). However, with the political pressure building around the Argentine government as mid-term elections approach in October, there may be myriad temptations for the Argentine government to once more seek to manipulate trade relations with Brazil. If that is indeed the case, external demand for Argentine exports could suffer, and 2013 might not see the output recovery hoped for.

13. ARGENTINA, ANTIGUA DISPUTES POISED TO ADVANCE AT UPCOMING DSB MEETING (Inside U.S. Trade)

25 January 2013

Two major disputes involving the United States and Argentina are poised to move ahead at a Jan. 28 meeting of the World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), where the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is also slated to formally request authorization to retaliate against the U.S. in a longstanding gambling services dispute.

According to an agenda circulated on Jan. 18, the U.S., European Union and Japan at the DSB meeting will make their second requests for the establishment of a dispute settlement panel to rule on their related challenges of import restrictions imposed by Argentina.

The DSB will likely establish a panel in those challenges, as WTO rules allow members that are the subject of challenges to block the first panel request, but not the second. Because the three challenges concern the same Argentine measures, they will likely be examined by one dispute settlement panel.

Twelve business associations last week declared their support for the U.S. dispute action against Argentina in response to a Dec. 26 Federal Register notice from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative requesting comments on its panel request.

In a related dispute, Argentina at the DSB meeting will make its second panel request in its challenge of a U.S. ban on imports of Argentine beef, meaning the establishment of a panel is also expected. Argentina launched WTO consultations with the U.S. over the ban after the U.S. requested consultations on the Argentine import restrictions. USTR views the beef dispute as retaliation by Argentina (Inside U.S. Trade, Aug. 24).

Argentina has also launched a separate dispute over a U.S. ban on the import of Argentine lemons, making its first panel request in that dispute on Dec. 17. But Argentina will not make a second panel request in the lemons dispute at the Jan. 28 DSB meeting, according to the agenda.

In the gambling services dispute, Antigua had previously stated its intent to request authorization at the Jan. 28 DSB meeting to retaliate against the U.S., which has warned Antigua that such a move would only undermine the chances of a bilateral settlement to the longstanding fight (Inside U.S. Trade, Dec. 21).

Antigua will ask the DSB for authorization to suspend up to $21 million annually in intellectual property concessions to the U.S. under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. The form and amount of that retaliation was already approved by a WTO arbitrator in 2007.

Also at the DSB meeting, Vietnam will make its first request for a panel in a dispute with the U.S. over the latter’s use of the antidumping (AD) methodology known as zeroing in AD cases involving shrimp from Vietnam. The U.S. is likely to block that request.

This is the second zeroing case on shrimp that Vietnam has launched against the U.S. in the WTO, following an initial case known as DS404, in which Vietnam prevailed. Vietnam argues that the U.S. has not implemented the findings in DS404, and its new dispute will cover more recent AD reviews as well as certain systemic issues (see related story).

The U.S. at the Jan. 28 DSB meeting is slated to present a status report on its implementation of the DS404 ruling as well as several other WTO cases. For instance, it will deliver a status report on its implementation of an Appellate Body ruling in a case won by Indonesia against a U.S. ban on clove cigarettes. The U.S. faces a July 24 deadline to comply with that ruling.

Also, China is slated to deliver an update on its implementation of an Appellate Body ruling faulting its export restraints on raw materials that Beijing was due to comply with by Dec. 31 of last year.

China has taken several steps in recent weeks to bring it into compliance with ruling, but has not gone beyond its formal obligations by eliminating other export restraints not specifically challenged in the case (Inside U.S. Trade, Jan. 18). The raw materials case was brought by the U.S., EU and Mexico.

Finally, the Philippines is slated to deliver a status report on its implementation of an Appellate Body ruling against its discriminatory taxes on distilled spirits, which were challenged by the U.S. and EU. The compliance deadline in that case is March 8.

The Phillippine legislature has been considering legislative proposals that would change the tax regime for distilled spirits, but the U.S. and EU have argued that those would not bring the country into compliance with the Appellate Body ruling (Inside U.S. Trade, Oct. 26).

14. EU SEEKS TO OVERCOME LATIN AMERICAN TRADE DISPUTES (Reuters News)

By Robin Emmott and Alejandro Lifschitz

25 January 2013

* EU leaders in Chile to deepen trade, mend ties with Argentina

* EU, Latin American leaders to issue expression of unity

* Deal with Mercosur trade bloc is biggest prize

SANTIAGO, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Spain told Latin America on Friday to respect its investments after Argentina and Bolivia nationalized three companies last year, but it trod carefully before a summit where the EU will seek to boost trade with the region.

Europe needs Latin America more than ever to help it recover from a deep banking and debt crisis that has driven many of its economies, including Spain, into recession.

Still, a split between the open economies of Mexico and Chile and more protectionist Argentina and Brazil is complicating European Union efforts to foment economic growth through trade deals and investment.

“Spain is ready to try to understand everyone’s positions, but the government … and its companies also have the right to be respected,” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told reporters in Santiago before the weekend summit.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez seized control of oil company YPF from its parent, Spain’s Repsol, last year and tensions have been worsened by disputes over sweeping import curbs that are now at the World Trade Organization.

Bolivian President Evo Morales nationalised two power companies owned by Spanish utility Iberdrola in December.

But with trade flows between Latin America and the European Union more than doubling over the past decade, EU leaders and their Latin American counterparts will seek to show unity in their final statement to be delivered on Sunday evening, according to a draft seen by Reuters.

The final statement agrees on the need to welcome foreign investment and commit to more open trade.

“We firmly reject all coercive measures of unilateral character that are contrary to international law and the commonly accepted rules of free trade,” the leaders meeting in Santiago will say, according to the draft.

“We agree this type of practice poses a serious threat to multilateralism,” the draft said.

Europe is the top foreign investor in Latin America and Rajoy called on companies from Mexico to Uruguay to invest in Spain as it struggles with record unemployment and one in every two young Spaniards cannot find work.

AVOIDING DIVISION

The greatest prize for the European Union would be a free-trade deal with commodities-exporting giants Brazil and Argentina, which are part of the South American Mercosur bloc.

An accord would encompass 750 million people and $130 billion of annual trade, helping European exporters, particularly of cars, machinery and luxury goods. Advocates say it might also spur economic growth in South America, where many components and input goods for Europe are produced.

EU diplomats in Santiago say European leaders, including Rajoy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will make a renewed push for momentum on Mercosur at the summit.

But the talks, which first started almost 20 years ago, were already relaunched in 2010 to little effect and have run into a host of problems over the years, from Brazilian import tariffs driven by a strong real, to European farm subsidies that make it harder for Mercosur to export there.

Global Trade Alert, an independent body monitoring global trade, says Brazil is one of the 10 most protectionist countries in the world. It has moved to block a surge of imports driven by its strong real currency ranging from Finnish steel to Chilean wine.

Europe could choose to deepen its links with others, including the faster-growing economies of the Pacific, including Peru, Mexico and Chile. However, Alicia Barcena, head of the U.N.’s regional economic body ECLAC warned against such a strategy.

Pacific nations “cannot go behind Mercosur and Brazil’s back,” Barcena said. “It is important to avoid a division.”

 

ARGENTINE UPDATE – Jan 25, 2013

28 enero, 2013

Sparks in the dark

A half-hearted policy retreat

Jan 19th 2013 | BUENOS AIRES |From the print edition

Economist January 19, 2013
A COUPLE of months ago a sudden heatwave triggered a fault in the electricity grid in Buenos Aires, leaving the presidential palace, Congress and millions of residents in Argentina’s capital without power for hours. Car horns blared incessantly as hundreds of thousands of commuters tried to make it home at rush hour without traffic lights, the subway or trains.
Blackouts, albeit normally less serious ones, are frequent in Argentina. They are a result of an energy policy that boosts consumption and hinders investment. Tariffs for electricity as well as natural gas have been all-but-frozen since 2002. The initial aim—to help the economy recover from collapse—was long ago achieved. Economic growth averaging 7% a year over the past decade and persistent inflation have unbalanced the energy market. Argentines pay four times less for electricity than their neighbours in Brazil, while the government subsidised the costs of energy firms by more than $10 billion in 2011. In that year, Argentina became a net importer of energy for the first time since 1984, racking up an import bill for oil and gas of $9.4 billion (equal to about 20% of the Central Bank’s foreign-exchange reserves).
Cristina Fernández, the president, found a scapegoat for the energy problem in Spain’s Repsol, which owned 75% of YPF, the country’s formerly state-owned oil and gas company. Repsol had announced huge discoveries of shale gas in the Vaca Muerta basin in Patagonia. But the government accused the company of funnelling profits towards dividends instead of to exploration and development. (The company says that its dividend policy was agreed on with Néstor Kirchner, Ms Fernández’s late husband and predecessor, as a means to finance the purchase of a 25% stake in YPF by a local company). Last May the government nationalised 51% of YPF. It has yet to pay Repsol a penny of the $10.5 billion it is claiming in compensation.
The nationalisation has not yet had the effect the government wanted. In the third quarter of 2012, YPF’s production of oil barely grew while its output of natural gas fell by 2% and profits were down by a third, compared with the same period in 2011 (when the company was hit by strikes).
All this has led the government into a modest policy retreat. It has announced that electricity tariffs for residential customers will rise by up to 72%. Energy companies can start selling additional output of natural gas at the wellhead for $7.50 per million BTUs (they will continue to get $2.70 for their current level of gas production). The government also raised from $42 per barrel to $70 the maximum amount they can receive for exporting oil, though this is still well below world prices, which start at $90. YPF recently signed letters of intent with America’s Chevron and with Bridas, an Argentine-Chinese company, to explore Vaca Muerta.
Energy experts doubt that the changes go far enough. The new electricity tariffs are too low to stimulate investment and will still need subsidies totalling $9 billion, according to Daniel Montamat, a former energy secretary. And securing the $250 billion required to develop Vaca Muerta will be hard until the government settles with Repsol, which has filed lawsuits against Chevron and Bridas as well as against the government.
But Ms Fernández has left herself little room for manoeuvre. Bigger tariff rises would boost an inflation rate that reached 26% last year, triggering strikes and discontent. And a deal with Repsol would involve a big cost in cash and in presidential pride. For years the Kirchners boosted the economy with no thought for tomorrow. Now tomorrow has come.
========================================================FRIDAY, JAN. 25, 2013

 

1. CRISTINA RAGES AT FAKE CHAVEZ PHOTO (Financial Times)

By Jude Webber

January 24, 2013

What do El País, the Spanish newspaper, and Clarín, the Argentine media group, have in common? Both are guttersnipes, according to Cristina Fernández, Argentina’s president.

Fernández’s animosity towards Clarín is legion. Her government wants judges to reject Clarín’s protests that a three-year-old media law that would strip the market-leader of scores of licences is unconstitutional, and to apply the anti-monopoly law pronto.

Critics say she is motivated less by a desire for plurality and independence than by a fierce desire to cut Clarín, an implacable government opponent, down to size.

But what has El País done to deserve the presidential wrath? It published a photograph purporting to be Hugo Chávez, the ailing Venezuelan leader, tubed in hospital, on its website for half an hour before realising it was fake and pulling it.

To err may be human, but media organisations, it appears in Fernández’s book, never act innocently. Via Twitter, the president furiously recounted how she read the papers as usual over breakfast, and found on the front page of El País “a photo. No, let me correct that. This is not a photo. This is a dirty trick”.

She thundered on in similar vein for several tweets, berating the “guttersnipe press – the same everywhere”, questioning whether the editor responsible for the photo’s publication “walks around Madrid like normal men and women”, had children, ever wrote about press freedom, or penned “editorials about ethics, morality, good behaviour” and wondering who the next “victim” would be.

El País, she says, is as bad as the corruption-hit The Sun in England and, of course, “here is the ‘Clarín’ of Héctor Magnetto”, referring to the Argentine group’s chief.

Tarring any media group with the same brush as Clarín is about as damning as it gets in the Fernández lexicon.

Compare her recent gushing tweets from Vietnam, where she hailed Ho Chi Minh as a liberation hero of Vietnam, and said her meetings with the president were “excellent”. Mind you, Vietnam does not set too much store by press freedom, as Human Rights Watch points out here.

This weekend’s summit between EU and Latin American leaders in Santiago should give Latin leaders plenty of chance to show their solidarity with Chávez. But his return to the political scene in Venezuela looks unlikely and what happens next remains open.

2. REPSOL SAYS IT’S NOT IN TALKS WITH ARGENTINA FOR YPF INDEMNITY (Bloomberg News)

By Pablo Gonzalez

January 24, 2013

Repsol SA (REP), the Spanish oil producer stripped of its Argentine unit last year, said the South American government is refusing to discuss compensation for the nationalization of YPF SA. (YPFD)

“We are not engaged in any negotiation with the Argentine government,” Arturo Gonzalo, Repsol’s director of institutional relations and corporate responsibility, said today at an event in New York. “They don’t talk and they don’t pay.”

Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo said Nov. 13 that there is space to negotiate terms for Repsol departure from Argentina. The Madrid-based producer filed a claim against Argentina with the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, a Washington-based organization belonging to the World Bank, according to a Dec. 3 regulatory filing. Repsol said at the time it made the arbitration claim after having completed a six-month period since it notified Argentina of the disagreement.

Jessica Rey, a spokeswoman for Argentine Deputy Economy Minister Axel Kicillof, and Horacio Mizrahi, a spokesman for Planning Minister Julio De Vido, didn’t reply to telephone calls seeking comment on Gonzalo’s statements today.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said April 18 that compensation will be determined by Argentina’s National Appraisal Tribunal, a government-chartered agency that helps determine the value of disputed assets involving companies or governments.

3. ARGENTINA AND THE COURTS: THE SKY WILL NOT FALL (The National Law Journal)

By Richard A. Samp

January 24, 2012

The Chicken Littles are out in force. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s ruling in NML v. Argentina has caused an outcry. Some have suggested that the decision will impede efforts to restructure sovereign debt in Europe and elsewhere. Others argue it unfairly violates sovereign immunity, or wrongly implicates third parties to the dispute.

Let’s put aside the hyperbole and look at the facts.

Argentina has given U.S. courts and the plaintiffs the runaround for years since defaulting on $81 billion in 2001. As Latin America’s third largest economy with significant reserves, the nation has the means to repay its creditors in full. Yet it has staunchly refused. Federal courts have numerous times noted Argentina’s “appalling record of keeping its promises to its creditors.”

While Argentina has been making regular interest payments to exchange bondholders who agreed to accept pennies on the dollar in 2005 and 2010, it has refused to pay a grouping of holdouts and even passed the infamous “Lock Law” to slam the door on future negotiations.

The New York courts have found fault with Argentina’s approach. Recently, the Second Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling that the pari passu clause contained in the original FAA Bonds prohibits Argentina from discriminating among its creditors. In other words, if Argentina makes payments to the exchange bondholders, it must also make payments to the holdouts.

In its recent ruling, the Second Circuit dismissed the impact on future sovereign debt restructurings and suggested that sovereign debtors can avoid Argentina’s predicament by including collective action clauses (CACs) in their bondholder agreements. Under CACs, all creditors are bound by a restructuring agreement provided that a large majority of creditors (usually set at 70 to 80 percent) reach agreement on a settlement.

Virtually all sovereign bonds issued under New York law since January 2005 have included CACs. Moreover, the European nations most frequently cited as candidates for future debt restructuring—Greece, Portugal, and Spain—have issued bonds not governed by New York law at all. And the EuroZone has adopted a treaty that requires all future bond issues to include CACs.

Some argue that CACs won’t do the trick, as there will always be holdouts who, under the Second Circuit’s ruling, could insist upon payment in full, despite a CAC clause. Noting that most debtor nations have issued numerous series of bonds, they allege that a buyer could amass a sufficiently large percentage of one of the smaller bond offerings and thereby gum up the entire works. But this criticism is greatly overblown, as most CACs contain an aggregation feature, which allows majority amendment across multiple bond series.

But let’s say a debtor nation is unable to obtain the requisite bondholder consensus for its debt restructuring across all of its bond series. That simply suggests that either the debtor is offering insufficiently attractive restructuring terms or the bond series where the holdouts are concentrated involves a sufficiently small amount of indebtedness that a restructuring can go ahead, without including those bonds.

Critics are not taking into account the unique aspects of the pari passu clause contained in the FAA bonds that are at issue in this case. This clause requires “equal” treatment for all bondholders. Such specific language is uncommon in most sovereign debt documents.

Some say the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) is implicated here. But given Argentina’s abysmal payment history, lenders required it to waive all sovereign immunity claims, and to consent to application of New York law, before anyone would agree to purchase the bonds in question. Furthermore, the district court’s ruling is an injunction requiring equal payment, not an attachment upon a foreign government’s asset, which might otherwise violate FSIA.

The impact of this case on third parties is limited. The district court understandably took exception to Argentina’s scheme of defiance and directed the trustee responsible for making payments to the exchange bondholders to ensure that its actions “are not steps to carry out a law violation.”

That trustee, Bank of New York Mellon, does not expose itself to liability to the exchange bondholders by complying with the court; its indenture states that it is not expected “to do anything which may be illegal or contrary to applicable law.” As for intermediary banks (i.e, the banks through whose hands money passes on its way to the exchange bondholders), the district court explicitly exempted them from the terms of its injunction.

The only parties truly at risk are the plaintiffs. Argentina has demonstrated time and again it has no intention of complying with its legal obligations and is not serious about negotiation. To this point, on December 28, Argentina told the Second Circuit it would “reopen” the swap and offer plaintiffs the nominal value of the 2010 exchange deal.

Argentina’s offer is bizarre for a host of reasons. Argentina wants to portray itself to the court as a reasonable party willing to compromise; yet it does so by offering bondholders pennies on the dollar—a deal worse than the ones they have repeatedly refused in the past. It essentially asks the Second Circuit to impose a “compromise” to its liking by judicial fiat and ignore the order of the district court.

The Second Circuit should be applauded for determining that Argentina must be bound by its contractual commitment to treat creditors equally. Requiring sovereigns to comply with such commitments, and barring American financial institutions from assisting sovereigns in defying federal court orders, will do nothing to disrupt debt markets. As the Second Circuit has recognized, the intransigent Argentina is a unique case. Despite critics’ shallow protestations, the sky will not fall.

Richard A. Samp is chief counsel (litigation) at Washington Legal Foundation.

4. US AND ARGENTINA TO SHARE INFORMATION TO COMBAT MONEY LAUNDERING (Business News Americas)

24 January 2013

Argentina’s anti-money laundering unit UIF and the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) have reestablished a financial information exchange to combat money laundering, according to Argentina state news agency Télam.

The information exchange will take place through the Egmont Group, a worldwide institution that provides cooperation and information exchange to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

The agreement is part of the Argentine government’s implementation of tougher measures in order to leave global anti-money laundering institution, Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) intensive monitoring process, according to the article.

The Argentine UIF also expects to sign similar agreements with their South African and Serbian counterparts this week and share information through the Egmont Group.

Télam cites a UIF release saying that “the exchange of information between foreign counterparts is the cornerstone of international investigation” to facilitate “both the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.”

The relationship between FINCEN and the Argentine UIF was suspended three years ago by the US, according to the article.

5. ARGENTINA AND US RESTART FINANCIAL INFORMATION EXCHANGE (IHS Global Insight Daily Analysis)

By Laurence Allan

24 January 2013

Argentina’s state news agency, Telam, yesterday (23 January) reported that the Argentine government Financial Information Unit (UIF) has now re-established relations with its United States’ counterpart, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit (FinCen). The news emerged from Belgium, where the Egmont Group of financial intelligence units (FIU’s) – government agencies that deal with money laundering and financial crime – from a range of countries is meeting. A statement released by Argentina’s UIF noted that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with its US counterpart to allow Argentina to exchange information with the US through the Egmont Secure Network. The US had previously withdrawn from bilateral co-operation with Argentina in 2009.

The re-establishment of relations between the Argentine and US FIU’s was one of the measures that the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had recommended that Argentina undertake in order to be removed from the intensive scrutiny of the FATF. Argentina remains on the FATF “grey list” of countries not fully compliant with international standards of financial transparency, and was told in late 2011 that it will be examined every three months to assess compliance with international norms.

Significance: The Argentine authorities have, since mid-2011, put in place new legislation and strengthened the relevant state bodies with the objective of satisfying FATF norms (see Argentina: 10 January 2012: ). The MoU with the US is a significant step forward in Argentina’s attempts to be removed from the FATF grey list. While removing one irritant from bilateral relations between the two countries, the Argentine authorities will also expect the news to boost the country’s financial credibility globally.

6. ARGENTINA’S ANNUAL INDUSTRY OUTPUT FALLS, 1ST DROP IN DECADE (Reuters News)

By Hilary Burke

24 January 2013

* December declines 3.4 percent yr/yr, more than expected

* Annual output pulled down by auto, metals industries

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Argentina’s industrial production fell in 2012, the first decline since a wrenching economic crisis a decade earlier.

Factory output shed 1.2 percent in 2012 due to shrinking automobile and basic metals output as well as weak domestic and external demand, the government said on Thursday.

A long boom in Latin America’s No. 3 economy ended last year because of sluggish global conditions, high inflation, a drought-hit 2011-12 grain harvest, and the impact of government import and currency controls on investment.

In December, industrial production fell by a larger-than-expected 3.4 percent from a year earlier. Nine analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.6 percent median decline, with estimates ranging from -1.6 percent to +3.1 percent.

Factory output dipped 0.6 percent in December compared with November, seasonally adjusted, the government said.

Last year’s poor performance partly stemmed from a downturn in the auto industry, which depends heavily on exports to Brazil. But tough import rules also played a role by delaying the entry of some foreign-made parts, and domestic demand cooled as overall economic growth slowed.

The government said car-making fell 6.6 percent in 2012 while the production of basic metals, including raw steel and primary aluminum, shed 8.7 percent.

In December, the decline in industrial production was fueled by a 14.6 percent drop in basic metals and a 9.5 percent decrease in construction materials.

The construction industry has been hurt by a virtual ban on dollar purchases that roiled the real estate market, where most transactions were made using the U.S. currency.

“The industrial sector is expected to benefit from the recovery in Brazilian activity forecast in 2013,” BNP Paribas said early on Thursday in a research note.

The bank added that private economists estimated Argentina’s annual industrial output fell by 1.9 percent in 2012 – worse than the 1.2 percent decline reported officially.

Analysts have long accused of the government of releasing overly optimistic economic growth and industrial production figures, while grossly understating inflation. The country faces possible sanctions by the International Monetary Fund over the accuracy of its statistics.

7. ARGENTINA ECONOMY: WAGE NEGOTIATIONS POSE A MAJOR CHALLENGE FOR GOVERNMENT (Economist Intelligence Unit – ViewsWire)

24 January 2013

A combination of accelerating inflation, a still-weak economy, increasing social discontent and political manoeuvring ahead of this year’s mid-term elections has turned upcoming wage negotiations into a major obstacle for the government. In 2012 negotiated wage rises ranged between 23% and 35%. In 2013 the government is seeking to reduce this to an average of 20% in order to lower inflation expectations. With both pro- and anti-government unions now seeking wage rises of at least 25%, it is unlikely that the government will meet this target.

According to unofficial estimates (which are considered more reliable than the widely discredited official series), inflation has been at double-digit levels for several years now, coming in at close to 26% at end-2012. In this scenario, annual wage negotiations between Argentina’s powerful unions and business representatives have become a key indicator of future inflation. In 2012 early wage negotiations resulted in agreed wage rises of around 25%, setting a precedent for the rest of the year. This year, the government is aiming to keep agreed wage increases in early negotiations at around 20%. However, the first agreements to be confirmed this year (by private-school teachers and fruit harvesters) have already exceeded this figure (coming in at around 25%), complicating government efforts to anchor inflation expectations.

Moyano goes on the offensive

Suggesting that the unions will take a tough stance, workers in the oil-processing and banking sectors have already gone on strike in recent weeks in support of their wage claims. With mid-term legislative elections due in October, the electoral calendar is playing a role in growing labour tensions, as wage negotiations provide union leaders with a chance to consolidate their political power. Hugo Moyano, the head of the main workers’ union, the CGT (and a former ally of the president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner), has wider political ambitions and is aware that, in a scenario of high inflation and with the government’s popularity decreasing, a tough position on wage negotiations will improve his public image and will strengthen his chances of negotiating political coalitions with opposition leaders ahead of the 2013 and 2015 elections.

Mr Moyano has gone on the offensive again in recent months, vocally criticising the government’s persistent failure to rein in inflation and calling for an increase in the minimum income-tax threshold (a claim strongly supported by workers). Mr Moyano has stated that he will push for a wage rise of at least 25% (although other unionists close to him are calling for wage rises of as high as 35%); he is also now pushing for wage negotiations to be conducted twice a year on the basis that there is substantial uncertainty surrounding the inflation trajectory.

The government has attempted to curb Mr Moyano’s political power by encouraging a division in the union movement. Last year, it created an alternative, pro-government union confederation, the so-called CGT Balcarce. However, with Ms Fernandez increasingly weak politically, even the pro-government unions are now reluctant to accept the government’s position on wage negotiations. Their claims for a wage rise of 25% and an increase in the minimum income-tax threshold are in line with Mr Moyano’s demands, and there now seems to be a possibility of a reunification of the union movement under Mr Moyano’s leadership at some point this year.

Weakening purchasing power

Despite the government’s attempts to keep wage rises under control, it seems likely that they will be more or less in line with union claims of around 25%. Wage rises will not be uniform across sectors; the most powerful trade unions will enjoy much higher increases, while public sector employees and informal workers will receive wage rises much more in line with government’s goals. However, on average, with a nominal increase in wages of around 25% and with inflation not expected to come down in 2013 from its (unofficial) level of close to 26%, workers’ purchasing power could actually decrease on average this year. The deterioration of real incomes would represent a significant departure from the cycle of rising wages and private consumption that has fuelled economic growth for most of the past decade, and would represent a major political and policy problem for the government.

8. ARGENTINE CORN FARMERS START WORRYING ABOUT DRYNESS (Reuters News)

24 January 2013

* Some areas of the Pampas expected to get ample rains

* Almost all 2012/13 corn and soy have been planted

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Argentine farmers are starting to worry that this season’s corn crop may start to suffer from dry conditions after more than a month of consistently hot and sunny weather, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday.

Swathes of the Pampas grains belt were flooded by hard rains

from August through mid-December. Since then, the region has had blazing hot weather, which was welcomed at first by flood-weary farmers but is now seen as a potential threat.

Argentina, the world’s No. 3 exporter of soybeans and corn after the United States and Brazil, is expected to have record harvests of both crops this season. Those forecasts, however, depend on February being a lot wetter than January has been.

According to the exchange, 96.4 percent of Argentina’s 2012/13 commercial-use corn is in the ground, marking an advance of 3 percentage points during the week and 1.4 points faster than last year’s seeding tempo.

“The absence of substantial rains in the farm belt has corn farmers worried about early-planted corn yields,” the exchange’s weekly crop report said.

“With central areas of the farm belt now in the kernel-filling stage of the season, the lack of rainfall coupled with the high temperatures recorded in January could become a serious constraint to yield performance,” it said.

Argentine farmers have planted more than 97.4 percent of their 2012/13 soybeans, having advanced 1.2 percentage points over the week through Thursday, the exchange said. Soy planting this year is progressing about 1 point faster than last year’s.

“Overall, late-planted soy has less moisture than early-planted areas,” the report said.

“In the seven days ahead, we expect a storm front in the northwestern part of the farm belt that could provide abundant moisture of 25 to 100 millimeters,” the exchange said. “At the same time, the Chaco region and southeastern Buenos Aires province could get moderate rainfall of 10 to 25 millimeters.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sees Argentina’s 2012/13 soybean crop at 54 million tonnes and its corn harvest at 28 million tonnes.

On Thursday, the Rosario grains exchange increased its 2012/13 corn harvest forecast to 26.5 million tonnes from a previous 24 million, citing improving yields.

The exchange said that more crop-forecast changes may be made over the months ahead, “depending on prevailing environmental conditions.”

Rosario kept its 2012/13 soybean harvest forecast unchanged at 53 million tonnes, but it cut its 2012/13 wheat crop projection to 9.3 million tonnes from 9.5 million.

August-December flooding hampered wheat seedings, plant development and harvesting, helping set the stage for what is expected to be the smallest crop in years.

Argentina’s agriculture ministry said 94 percent of 2012/13 commercial- and non-commercial-use corn area had been planted, marking an advance of 1 percentage point during the week and lagging last season’s seeding tempo by 3 points.

This season’s soybean planting reached 97 percent after having advanced 1 percentage point during the week, but lagged the previous season by 1 point, the ministry said in its weekly crop report.

9. INFLATION-WARY ARGENTINE FARMERS DELAY SOYBEAN SALES (Reuters News)

By Nicolás Misculin

24 January 2013

* Country has Latin America’s fastest-rising consumer prices

* Growers hoarding soybeans as world food demand rises

* Argentina could harvest a record soy crop this year

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Argentine farmers are delaying forward sales of this season’s soybean crop, opting to hold out for higher prices and further weakening of the local peso, market data shows.

Double-digit annual inflation in the world’s No. 3 soy exporter is another factor inducing growers to stockpile grains in the white plastic silo bags that have come to dot the Pampas agricultural belt.

The tendency is likely to slow supply from the South American country at a time of growing food demand punctuated by poor grains harvests caused by dry weather last year in Argentina, the United States, Russia and Australia.

Argentine farmers have pre-sold only 5 million tonnes of the more than 50 million expected to be harvested this year. At this point in the previous season they had sold 10 million tonnes, according to the Rosario grains exchange.

“Growers want to hang onto their soybeans this season, considering that the peso is expected to keep depreciating. There’s also an expectation that soybean prices will rise,” said Guillermo Rossi, an analyst at the exchange, which expects a 2012/13 soybean harvest of 53 million tonnes.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sees an Argentine soybean take of 54 million tonnes in the 2012/13 crop year.

The peso — worth 4.9625 per dollar at the official rate on

Thursday — weakened 12.5 percent last year and could lose up to

20 percent more in 2013, analysts say.

It makes more sense for growers to save in grains, which have a value in dollars, than in a local currency whose value is being chipped away by inflation and devaluation.

The only impediment might be the necessity to sell grains as farmers struggle to get their finances back on track after 2011/12 profits fell victim to a drought that hurt soy yields.

“Clearly the tendency is to stockpile soybeans but you have to wait and see who is in good enough shape to do that,” said farm manager Jorge Bianciotto. “A lot of farmers can’t hang onto their soybeans because last season was bad and they need cash.”

By March, when Argentina’s 2012/13 soy harvest will get underway, Pablo Adreani of the Agripac consultancy in Buenos Aires says he expects 12.3 million tonnes of beans to have been sold compared with 16.1 million sold by March of last year.

“The pace of soybean sales this year is 50 percent slower than in the previous season,” he said.

Chicago Board of Trade spot soybean prices have risen to $14.19 per bushel from $12.20 a year ago. Prices could march higher in the months ahead if crop weather takes another turn for the worse after a severe North American drought last year.

Argentina started 2012 with a drought in the Pampas farm belt and ended the year with flooding in the same areas.

The country has meanwhile surpassed Venezuela as having Latin America’s highest inflation rate, according to private estimates that put Argentina’s annual inflation at about 25 percent last year.

“Putting money in the bank is a losing proposition with the price of inputs like pesticides and fertilizer rising so fast,” said Santiago del Solar, who manages thousands of hectares of farmland in powerhouse grains province Buenos Aires.

“We will think very carefully about every truckload of soy that we sell, beyond what’s already contracted,” he added. “We’d rather have soybeans in reserve, something that’s tangible and that we know beyond any doubt has value.”

10. CABLEVISION’S $300 MILLION ARGENTINA INVESTMENT MAY HINGE ON REGULATIONS (Dow Jones Top Global Market Stories)

By Taos Turner

24 January 2013

BUENOS AIRES–Argentina’s biggest cable-television and broadband provider, Cablevision SA, plans to invest $300 million this year, but import barriers and a bitter legal battle with the government could affect that investment, Chief Executive Carlos Moltini said in an interview this week.

Cablevision’s parent company, multimedia conglomerate Grupo Clarin SA (GCLA.BA), is locked in a struggle with the government over the implementation of a three-year-old law that would radically reshape the media industry in Argentina.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner says the law will spur diversity and competition in the sector. But many analysts say Mrs. Kirchner’s real priority is to break up media companies like Clarin that are critical of her government.

“The investment decision depends not only on shareholders’ backing and management’s ability to execute the investment plan, but on the country’s vicissitudes,” Mr. Moltini said in reference to Argentina’s regulatory environment.

Cablevision invested about $300 million last year, bringing total investment over the previous four years to about $1 billion, he said.

With 1.5 million broadband subscribers and 3.5 million cable subscribers at the end of September, Clarin reckons it runs the largest subscription-TV network in Latin America.

Cablevision had sales of ARS5.7 billion ($1.15 billion) in the first nine months of 2012, accounting for around 70% of the group’s total consolidated revenue.

Cablevision wants to offer faster broadband speeds, improve its on-demand high definition video services, and offer “massive” WiFi coverage in cities around the country this year.

Mr. Moltini couldn’t say for sure if the media law will affect investment plans. For now, Cablevision’s top concern is getting the equipment it needs into the country.

“All that depends on getting government permits,” he said. “The import barriers are something that affect the entire Argentine economy in general.”

Last year, the government stepped up trade barriers to reduce the need for dollars used to pay for imported goods. Meanwhile, the government has increasingly leaned on the international reserves at the central bank to pay creditors.

Strict government limits on the sale of foreign currency are also another headache for Cablevision.

Cablevision suspended the sale of WiFi modems for a full month last April, and in July it had to temporarily stop selling high-definition cable boxes because it couldn’t import them or get approval to buy the dollars to pay for them.

Clarin’s attempts to build an international presence have also foundered because of government regulation.

Last year, the group sold its cable-TV business to Millicom International Cellular SA (MIC-SDB.SK, MIICF) in Paraguay for $150 million.

The decision was “painful,” Mr. Moltini said, but the company had little choice because regulations made it impossible to compete on an equal footing with other telecommunications firms.

“We faced the prospect of bleeding market share day by day…or we could sell the business in its moment of greatest splendor,” he said. “The offer was good, so we sold.”

Cablevision continues to operate in Uruguay, though business there is limited because of a government monopoly on Internet services, Mr. Moltini said.

At home, government policies have stunted the development of Argentina’s telecommunications industry, he said.

Only one company, Telecentro, offers triple-play packages–the bundling of cable, broadband and fixed-line phone services–and it does so on a small scale in the city of Buenos Aires.

The government has blocked Grupo Clarin’s attempts to provide phone service, meaning it cannot directly compete with traditional phone companies Telecom Argentina SA (TEO, TECO2.BA) and the local subsidiary of Spain’s Telefonica SA (TEF, TEF.MC).

“Argentina should be thinking not about triple play, which is already old, but about quadruple play,” he said, referring to the bundling of phone, broadband, TV and mobile services.

“We should also be investing about 10 times what we are in WiFi,” Mr. Moltini said. “But Argentina is prioritizing something else now. It’s prioritizing giving business opportunities to [political supporters] and attacking free speech.”

A spokesman for Argentine President Cristina Kirchner couldn’t be reached for comment.

Clarin’s shares traded in Buenos Aires were recently up 1.1% at ARS9.40 Thursday.

11. DELL TO MANUFACTURE NOTEBOOKS IN TIERRA DEL FUEGO (Business News Americas)

24 January 2013

US company Dell plans to start manufacturing notebooks in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province, the Argentine government said in a statement.

Dell will manufacture the notebooks in association with local firm Latec, and will invest a total of 15.5mn pesos (US$3.13mn) in local production, the government said.

The notebooks will be manufactured in Latec’s new plant, located in the city of Río Grande. The facility has an annual production capacity of 180,000 units. Dell expects to manufacture 100,000 notebooks in Tierra del Fuego in 2013, the company said.

Meanwhile, Latec said it expects to recruit 124 people to work in the plant to produce the devices.

Other PC manufacturers such as Lenovo, Samsung, Banghó and BGH are already manufacturing notebooks in the southern province.

In Argentina, Dell already has a shared services center as well as a sales center, the government said. From its shared services center in Argentina, Dell provides services for its operations in other Latin American markets.

In Latin America, Dell also manufacturers PCs in São Paulo state.

The government of Argentina has recently renewed its programme promoting the manufacture of electronics equipment in Tierra del Fuego province.

According to decree 2623, which was published in the country’s official gazette on December 31, firms will have until June 30, 2013, to present projects for the manufacture of notebooks, netbooks, tablets, modems, e-readers and digital cameras. Projects which win approval will enjoy benefits until 2023.

While the government offers tax incentives for electronics manufacturers to assemble their products locally, many devices produced in Tierra del Fuego use predominantly imported components.

 

======================================================THURSDAY, JAN. 24, 2013
1. ARGENTINE DESTROYER THAT LED WAR AGAINST BRITAIN SINKS, A SYMBOL OF DECAY FOR ONCE-PROUD NAVY (The Washington Post)
January 23, 2013
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina’s defense chief expressed shame Wednesday after a Navy destroyer sank at its moorings, putting on display the declining fortunes of a once-proud fleet.
The ARA Trinidad led Argentina’s 1982 sea war against Britain, but has long been mothballed and used for spare parts to sustain what’s left of Argentina’s Navy.
A Navy statement said that a pipe burst, flooding the ship below decks. Defense Minister Arturo Puricelli denied that cuts to the fleet’s maintenance budget were to blame. He said negligence or “sabotage” were possible and demanded a complete investigation.
“When the president asks me, I’ll be ashamed, frankly, to tell her that a boat sank while tied to the dock,” Puricelli told Radio 10. “There has to be a well-founded reason for this.”
Opposition congressmen blamed a decade of disinvestment in Argentina’s military, and said the country is ill-equipped to defend its seas.
“That a boat sinks in port due to a lack of maintenance reveals the deterioration and abandonment of our fleet, vital to the defense of a sovereignty that our president never loses an opportunity to proclaim to the world, but which we are very far from being able to defend,” Congressman Gustavo Ferrari said.
Ferrari presented a study last year concluding that Argentina’s army, air force, coast guard and navy were all badly underfunded.
Several Navy ships have had trouble operating: the warship Espora was stuck in South Africa last year for lengthy repairs, and breakdowns kept the destroyer Argentina from completing a mission in Brazil. The icebreaker Almirante Irizar is still in repairs after a 2007 fire.
Puricelli acknowledged the delays, but said nearly $100 million has been spent on repairs.
Meanwhile, Argentina’s 3,100-mile (4,989-kilometer) coastline is being protected by a fleet that has been reduced to three destroyers, two other warships, several patrol boats, two scientific vessels, an icebreaker and the Libertad, the tall ship used to train cadets that was detained for months in Africa last year as collateral for unpaid debts.
Congressman Julio Martinez said Wednesday that of a total of 70 navy ships, only 16 are in sailing condition, and even then only barely. He said increases in defense spending have gone to salaries, leaving little or nothing for maintenance or investment in hardware.
“It’s hugely hypocritical to talk of sabotage when for 10 years the ship has been abandoned,” Martinez told Argentina’s Todo Noticias channel.
The Trinidad was mothballed only a few years after leading the ultimately unsuccessful occupation of the Falklands, which Argentines claim as the Islas Malvinas. Martinez said he, like most Argentines, has no desire to wage another war, “but if the country lacks defenses, and the British know that, they won’t ever negotiate a peaceful resolution.
2. ARGENTINA: LOVE THY OLIVE OIL (PLEASE) (Financial Times Blog)
By Jude Webber
January 23, 2013
Argentina has designated olive oil a national food and now wants people to gobble it up so that domestic demand gives the estimated $30m industry a fillip.
You might think that Argentines already do love their olive oil – most have Mediterrranean roots, after all, and in Spain consumption of olive oil is about 13 to 15 litres per head per year, according to Juan Carlos García Zuloaga, president of the Olive Growing Chamber in the western Argentine province of Mendoza. Yet no – Argentines now consume only about a quarter of a litre each of olive oil at most a year, he says.
As a result, Argentina has been exporting most of its production – consuming only about a quarter of it, according to Javier Tineo, a deputy in olive-oil producing La Rioja who sponsored the initiative.
So will the new promotion – and other related efforts, like campaigns to give every household in La Rioja its own olive tree – actually work? This is, after all, an industry for which the government has high hopes, pencilling in a doubling of production by 2020 under a state agriculture plan, according to The Olive Oil Times.
The stark answer may be no, says García Zuloaga, himself an olive producer. Why not? Well, like many things in this country, it all comes down to the dollar.
As he told beyondbrics:
Unless this initiative is accompanied by a publicity campaign to boost consumption, the impact will be zero. This is an industry where profitability for the producer is negative, not even zero – it’s more expensive to produce [than to sell].
Why? Well look no further than Argentina’s twin bugbears of an overvalued peso and high inflation. Argentina’s official (and tightly-controlled) dollar rate is just below 5 pesos, but the black-market – some would say, more realistic – rate is nearer 7.5, while inflation is about 25 per cent.
According to García Zuloaga, the fertilizers, pesticides and other products producers need cost 10 times more than the finished product because “the dollar is below its logical values”. In Mendoza last year, the provincial government sought to boost the industry by paying 1.7 pesos per kilo of olives, he said. Fine – except that the real production cost is around 3.3 pesos per kilo.
It might sound odd, then, that Italian producers, battling poor harvests, are looking to buy raw materials in Argentina. But as García Zuloaga says, they are offering to buy at $4,000 per tonne… and then sell their oil in half-litre bottles which have a large mark-up. So they don’t lose. He says:
What’s at play here is the value of the dollar. To have good profitability, we’d have to be talking about $6,000 per tonne, but no one will pay that.
And olive oil is an international industry where competition is heating up. China is starting production, for example. The good thing about such newcomers is that production is so far very small, even if quality is good, says García Zuloaga.
But the bad news for Argentina is that “production is falling and the risk is that quality will, too” as olive production becomes costlier.
3. ARGENTINA’S FUDGED DATA THREATEN MIDDLE CLASS (Bloomberg News)
By Lawrence Goodman
January 23, 2013
Economists dub the challenge of creating analysis with faulty data “GIGO,” or “garbage in, garbage out.” Fudged statistics may seem relatively innocuous within the context of problems confronting the global economy. However, faulty data can thrust millions into poverty and prevent others from reaching the middle class.
John Maynard Keynes argued vehemently that the International Monetary Fund should play a central role in ensuring quality statistics for the management of the world economy. “There is hardly any greater service the Fund can do than provide up-to-date barometers of the monetary problems of the world,” Keynes said at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944.
Now, a case pending before the IMF executive board involves Argentina’s manipulation of data and a broader challenge of enforcement.
Official Argentine data suggest that prices rose by almost 70 percent from 2007 to the end of 2012, while private estimates put the total advance in prices at more than 200 percent. The cost of such faulty statistics is extremely high. Cooked inflation statistics reduce real wages, penalize savers, defraud holders of inflation-linked bonds, diminish investment, and tarnish the quality of knowledge and future policies.
Capital Flight
Risks extend well beyond the annual loss in purchasing power for participants in the Argentine economy. The persistence of such an environment — where there are few incentives to keep funds in pesos — sets the stage for another cycle of capital- flight-driven currency devaluation followed by accelerated inflation. The “blue-chip swap,” or unofficial exchange rate, strongly signals the risk of a roughly 40 percent devaluation of the peso over the next year. Sadly, this vicious circle is well- known, having wiped out individual savings many times over the years in Argentina and elsewhere.
Moreover, exchange-rate risk stemming from faulty inflation statistics and an unsustainable macroeconomic mix will keep investors sidelined. This will critically limit Argentina’s long-term growth potential, as boundless investment opportunities will probably remain untapped.
Conversely, the benefit from reliable data is enormous. Greater transparency and access to quality information have contributed to the near-doubling of the nominal gross domestic product of emerging economies in the past six years, despite the recent financial crisis. Although seemingly arcane, better information has provided corporations and individuals with the confidence to invest. Greater confidence and investment have provided the fuel for economies to grow and the ranks of the middle class to swell.
Unfortunately, for Argentines and the rest of the world, the IMF seems unwilling to give its statistical branch the political support needed to provide meaningful barometers for monetary problems in Argentina. Thus far, the country’s government is winning the cat-and-mouse game.
The IMF first sent a mission to Buenos Aires to advise on inflation and other economic statistics in December 2010. Since then, the IMF has issued a series of statements and reports, and organized meetings with staff, the executive board and senior management. Almost two years later, the IMF board publicly “regretted the lack of sufficient progress” by Argentina in implementing measures to improve reported data. It again called on Argentina to “implement measures without delay” and requested that IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde report to the board on Dec. 17, 2012. At the meeting last month, the board postponed a final decision until the end of January.
Driving Force
The IMF has been a driving force for improving macro and financial data over the past three decades. Ironically, the improvement in data paralleled various financial meltdowns, beginning in August 1982 with the less-developed-country debt crisis. Early on, consolidated stocks of external debt in various LDCs were difficult to find. In the mid-1990s, statistics on foreign-exchange reserves were often inaccurate and infrequently reported. There have been remarkable improvements over the years in these areas, largely due to the IMF’s work with member nations.
The IMF must re-embrace its role as the provider of up-to- date barometers of the monetary problems in the world. A good starting point would be to review Argentina’s IMF membership.
(Lawrence Goodman was a director and senior fellow in the U.S. Treasury and is now president of the Center for Financial Stability, which recently published “The Bretton Woods Transcripts,” co-edited by Kurt Schuler and Andrew Rosenberg. The opinions expressed are his own.)
4. ARGENTINA POSTED $529 MILLION TRADE SURPLUS IN DECEMBER (Bloomberg News)
By Silvia Martinez and Eliana Raszewski
January 23, 2013 5
Argentina’s trade surplus widened to $529 million in December from $329 million a year earlier after the government tightened restrictions on imports.
Exports fell 5 percent to $6 billion, while imports fell 9 percent to $5.5 billion, the national statistics institute said today in Buenos Aires. For 2012, the surplus widened to $12.7 billion from $10 billion in the previous year.
President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government in February required importers to seek authorization from the federal tax agency before purchasing goods abroad. The government also imposed currency controls including a ban on dollar purchases for savings. This year’s trade surplus will widen to $13.3 billion, according to the budget.
“The import repression strategy and binding foreign exchange controls damped domestic consumer and business sentiment and disrupted a number of production, supply chains,” Alberto Ramos, an economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. wrote in a report today. “A higher trade surplus came at the cost of a significant decline in investment and overall activity.”
The central bank in December estimated the economy expanded 2 percent in 2012, down from 8.9 percent in 2011.
Exports from Argentina, the world’s largest shipper of soybean oil, fell 3 percent last year to $81.2 billion from $84 billion in 2011, while imports fell 7 percent to $68.5 billion from $73.9 billion, the institute said.
5. ARGENTINA MEDIATES BP, CHUBUT OIL LAW DISPUTE, LA NACION SAYS (Bloomberg News)
By Pablo Gonzalez
January 23, 2013
Argentina’s Planning Minister Julio de Vido is pressuring Chubut authorities to amend a new oil law to accommodate BP Plc (BP/)’s local unit, La Nacion said, citing an unidentified provincial official.
De Vido met with billionaire Carlos Bulgheroni, who operates the BP unit, Pan American Energy LLC, and Chubut Governor Martin Buzzi, and asked the latter to be open-minded in negotiations with the producer to resolve differences over the law approved in December, the Buenos Aires-based newspaper said.
Pan American Energy, or PAE, is operated by 40 percent owner Bridas Corp., a venture between the Bulgheroni family and China’s state-owned producer Cnooc Ltd. (883), La Nacion said, citing the undisclosed Chubut official.
The Argentine government wants to remain in good standing with Bridas as it’s proceeding with a planned partnership deal to jointly develop Vaca Muerta shale formation with state-owned producer YPF SA (YPFD), La Nacion said.
6. VALE ARGENTINE POTASH PROJECT SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY (Bloomberg News)
By Juan Pablo Spinetto and Pablo Gonzalez
January 23, 2013
Vale SA (VALE3), the world’s third-largest mining company, suspended works at its $6 billion potash project in Argentina indefinitely.
A suspension at the Rio Colorado potash project in the Argentine province of Mendoza since last month will be maintained, the Rio de Janeiro-based company said in an e-mailed reply to questions.
Vale Chief Executive Officer Murilo Ferreira is selling assets and canceling projects as the company is set to post the lowest annual profit in three years. Vale is in talks with a potential partner for the Rio Colorado project, Roger Downey, head for fertilizers and coal, said on Dec. 12. Last month the company cut the 2013 budget for the project to $611 million from $1.08 billion last year.
“The project isn’t canceled,” Rolando Baldasso, Mendoza province’s minister of infrastructure and energy, said in an e- mailed response to questions. “There are financial issues that are triggering an operational restructuring.”
Vale declined 0.2 percent to close at 39.50 reais in Sao Paulo. The stock has dropped 3.4 percent this year.
Partners Sought
Los Andes newspaper reported earlier today that the project was suspended for an indefinite period and it won’t be reopened until Vale gets a partner. Vale is currently holding talks with two multinational companies seeking to seal a partnership, the Mendoza City-based newspaper said, citing an unidentified company official.
Brazil’s only potash producer, Vale said in October it has spent $1.8 billion on Rio Colorado and completed 41 percent of the project. The venture includes the developing of a mine in Mendoza, the renovation of 440 kilometers (273 miles) of railway trucks and the construction of a 350 kilometer-long railway spur to transport the potash to a terminal in the port of Bahia Blanca, in Buenos Aires’ province, for its export.
With the capacity to produce 4.3 million metric tons of potash, the project would make Argentina the world’s third- largest exporter of the crop nutrient, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said in July after signing agreements with Vale to proceed with the project.

 

7. ARGENTINA’S 2012 TRADE SURPLUS SWELLS TO $12.69 BLN FROM $10.01 BLN (Dow Jones Global Equities News)

By Ken Parks

23 January 2013

Trade Balance:

Dec     Nov                 Oct                  Sep                  Dec/11   FY/2012

Forecast:          –          +$500M           +$592M           +$950M           +$700M       –

Actual:             +$529M  +$634M       +$585M           +$911M           +$329M   +$12.69B

BUENOS AIRES–Argentina’s trade surplus rose 27% to $12.69 billion in 2012 on the year as restrictions on imported goods and services more than offset a decline in exports, the government said in a report Wednesday.

The trade surplus is the single biggest contributor to Argentina’s international reserves in the absence of significant levels of foreign investment and offshore borrowings by the government and Argentine companies. President Cristina Kirchner uses a portion of those reserves to pay government creditors.

Exports fell 3% on the year to $81.21 billion, while imports fell 7% to $68.5 billion, according to the national statistics agency, Indec.

Since late 2011, the Kirchner administration has aggressively limited imports and imposed severe currency rationing on the public to make sure the central bank has enough dollars on hand so the government can pay its debts and Argentine industry can buy critical imports.

Those import barriers led the European Union, the U.S. and Japan to file disputes against Argentina at the World Trade Organization last year.

The federal budget forecasts a trade surplus of about $13.3 billion this year, based largely on expectations of record soybean and corn crops.

Argentina is the world’s No. 3 soybean exporter, and the leader in soyoil and soymeal exports. It also ranks No. 2 in corn exports.

Exports fell 5% on the year to $5.99 billion in December, with volumes falling 9%, while prices rose 4%. Shipments of grain, minerals, and automobiles posted the biggest declines, Indec said.

Imports dropped 9% on the year to $5.46 billion that month, owing to a 7% drop in volume and 2% drop in prices.

The Mercosur customs union–whose founding members are Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay–was the destination for 33% of Argentina’s exports and the source of 28% of imports.

The politically sensitive trade deficit with top trading partner Brazil shrank to just $1.17 billion last year, from a deficit of $4.20 billion in 2011.

8. ARGENTINA TRADE SURPLUS WIDENS 27 PCT IN 2012 (Reuters News)

23 January 2013

* December surplus grew 61 percent yr/yr as imports fell

* Government imposed tough new import rules in February 2012

* Aimed to safeguard foreign reserves used to pay debt

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Argentina’s trade surplus expanded by 27 percent in 2012 to $12.69 billion after imports fell due to tough government curbs and an economic slowdown, government data showed on Wednesday.

Growth in Latin America’s third largest economy cooled abruptly in 2012 after a nearly nine-year boom. The country’s key soy exports sank after a drought slashed crop production, while sluggish global conditions, high local inflation and policy uncertainty also weighed on investment and output.

Last year, Argentine exports fell 3 percent versus 2011, hurt by a sharp drop in automotive sales to top market Brazil.

Imports dropped 7 percent, hurt by a 13 percent decline in capital goods and a 9 percent decrease in imported consumer goods, the INDEC statistics institute said. Costly fuel imports eased 2 percent in 2012 versus a year earlier.

In February 2012, the government imposed tough new import rules to bolster the trade surplus and safeguard the country’s foreign currency reserves. Argentina uses the reserves to pay debt, freeing up other funds for state spending aimed at boosting economic growth.

In December, exports fell 5 percent and imports declined 9 percent year-on-year to put the trade surplus at $529 million . This represented a 61 percent increase from the $329 million surplus seen in December 2011.

President Cristina Fernandez announced the December and annual trade surpluses earlier this month but her numbers were slightly below what INDEC reported on Wednesday.

In 2011, the trade surplus totaled $10.01 billion.

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LOS DICHOS DE PERON

27 enero, 2013
EN ALGÚN MOMENTO ALGUIEN PUSO ESTA SEMILLA QUE HOY FLORECE
Asunto: Rv: Algo para recordar
LOS DICHOS DE PERÓN

(tengamos memoria)

21 diciembre, 2012por Adri Bosch

Mi agradecimiento a Gisell Jacobs

que ha me hecho recordar

los dichos y reflexiones del Gral. Peron.

Hace mas de 6 décadaslos argentinos

comenzamos a dividirnos mas que nunca,

y hoy estamos mas enfrentados que nunca!

Adri Bosch

http://confusapatria.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/peron-caricatura-pablo-themes.jpg?w=614

“El día que se lancen a colgar, yo estaré del lado de los

que cuelgan! ” (2-8-46)
“Entregaré unos metros de piola a cada descamisado

y veremos quién cuelga a quién! ” (13-8-46)
“A mí me van a matar peleando! ” (13-8-46)
“Con un fusil o con un cuchillo, a matar al que se encuentre!”  (24-6-47)
“Esa paz tengo que imponerla Yo por la fuerza! ” (23-8-47)
“Levantaremos horcas en todo el país para colgar a los opositores! ” (8-9-47)
“Vamos a salir a la calle de una sola vez para que no vuelvan nunca más ni los hijos de ellos ”(8-6-51)
“Distribuiremos alambre de enfardar para colgar a nuestros enemigos”. (31-8-51).
“Para el caso de un atentado al presidente de la Nación…

hay que contestar con miles de atentados”.

(Plan Político Año 1952).
“Objetivo: Lista de dirigentes opositores; lista de instituciones reconocidas como desafectas al gobierno; lista de opositores

o de casas comerciales dirigidas o ligadas a los opositores; lista de representaciones cuyos gobiernos realizan campañas opositoras al nuestro. Personal: Serán empleados grupos previamente instruidos y seleccionados de las organizaciones dependientes de la CGT y del Partido Peronista Masculino. Misión: Atentados personales; voladuras; incendios”.

(En el mismo documento).
“Se lo deja cesante y se lo exonera… por la simple causa de ser un hombre que no comparte las ideas del gobierno; eso

es suficiente” (3ª. Conferencia de Gobernadores, pág. 177).
“Vamos a tener que volver a la época de andar con alambre

de fardo en el bolsillo”. (16-4-53, horas antes del incendio de

la Casa del Pueblo, la Casa Radical, la sede del Partido Demócrata Nacional y el Jockey Club).
“Leña… leña… Eso de la leña que ustedes aconsejan,

¿por qué no empiezan ustedes a darla?”  (El mismo día).
“Hay que buscar a esos agentes y donde se encuentren colgarlos de un árbol”. (El mismo día).
“Compañeros: cuando haya que quemar, voy a salir yo a

la cabeza de ustedes a quemar. Pero entonces, si eso fuera necesario, la historia recordaría la más grande hoguera que haya encendido la humanidad hasta nuestros días. Los que creen que nos cansaremos se equivocan. Nosotros tenemos cuerda para 100 años”. (7-5-53).
“A unos se los conduce con la persuasión y el ejemplo;

a otros con la policía”. (15-5-53).
“Aquel que en cualquier lugar intente alterar el orden contra

las autoridades… puede ser muerto por cualquier argentino. Esta conducta que ha de seguir todo peronista no solamente

va dirigida contra los que ejecutan, sino también contra los

que conspiren o inciten”. (31-8-55).
“Y cuando uno de los nuestros caiga, caerán cinco de ellos”. (31-8-55).
“Que sepan que esta lucha que iniciamos no ha de terminar hasta que no los hayamos aniquilado y aplastado”. (31-8-55).
“Nuestra nación necesita paz y tranquilidad… y eso lo hemos de conseguir persuadiendo, y si no a palos”. (31-8-55)
“Veremos si con esta demostración nuestros adversarios y nuestros enemigos comprenden. Si no lo hacen, ¡pobres de ellos!. (31-8-55).
“Yo pido al pueblo que sea él también un custodio del orden. Si cree que lo puede hacer, que tome las medidas más violentas contra los alteradores del orden”. (31-8-55).
“¡Al enemigo, ni justicia!”. (Memorando reservado “para el doctor Subiza”. De su puño y letra, con triple subrayado). (Esta misma frase la vuelve a repetir desde el exterior en junio de 1972, y se difundió por televisión a todo el país los días

21 y 22-6-72).
“¡Ah… si yo hubiese previsto lo que iba a pasar… entonces sí: hubiera fusilado al medio millón, o a un millón, si era necesario. Tal vez ahora eso se produzca”. (9-5-70).
“Si yo tuviera 50 años menos, no sería incomprensible que anduviera ahora, colocando bombas o tomando la justicia

por mi propia mano”.

*

Todo aquel que cree que ser opositor al gobierno,

es ser traidor a la Patria,

ES UN DÉSPOTA!

Juan Bautista Alberdi

* * *

“No me preocupa el grito de los violentos,

de los corruptos, de los deshonestos, de los sin ética …

Lo que más me preocupa es el silencio de los buenos.”

Martín Luther King

* * *

Antes de imprimir este mensaje,

hay que pensar y asegurarse que sea necesario.

El medio ambiente está en nuestras manos

* * *

¡ ADVERTENCIA !

Por favor, al REENVIAR, asegurarse de

BORRAR TODAS LAS DIRECCIONES DE E-MAIL VISIBLES

y

UTILIZAR EL CAMPO “CCO” o “BCC”

AL ESCRIBIRLAS DIRECCIONES DE LOS DESTINATARIOS

De esta manera evitará que todos conozcan

las direcciones del resto de la lista,

y no alimentaremos a los spammers !!!

G R A C I A S!!!

*  *  *

LEY NACIONAL 26.032

Este correo electrónico (e-mail) fue emitido en la República Argentina,

en concordancia con las libertades constitucionales establecidas

en esta ley desde el 18 / 6 / 2005 y con las atribuciones y derechos

que la Constitución Nacional otorga a los ciudadanos.-

(art.14 y concordantes).

* * *

LUDOPATIA OFICIALISTA

26 enero, 2013

Cuando un desgobierno en perdida redobla la apuesta, es señal de LUDOPATIA, una enfermedad que si no llega a ser curada, puede causar graves problemas al enfermo y a sus familiares, que en el caso de un gobierno, incluye a millones de personas. Nuestro Administrador General del país es nuestro Jefe de Gabinete, según la Constitución  y si no se le advierte el peligro del juego, puede haber un mal peor al que nos causo Duhalde con la destrucción de la moneda nacional peso convertible, el único valor monetario que tuvo Argentina desde que el Peronismo fascista se encaramo al poder, en 1946, y la costumbre de emitir dinero inflacionario hoy parece normal. Pero los políticos no  proponen como terminarla, porque todos medran con  emisión monetaria creciente: los salarios de los funcionarios públicos de todos los partidos políticos se incrementan con la inflación, e incluso aun mas que ella, mientras los demás  el 99,9 por ciento de la población  va sufriendo los embates inflacionarios y las mentiras oficiales que niegan algo tan obvio como que Argentina y todo lo que en ella se encuentra, van bajando de valor a nivel internacional. Igual que Cuba cuando Fidel proclamo ser comunista, y se apropio de la Isla, que hoy maneja su hermano Raúl, como si fuese una empresa familiar y hereditaria.

Concretando: el desgobierno de Abal Medina esta enviando dinero en forma directa desde la maquina impresora del Banco Central, a los intendentes varios, puenteando al gobierno de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, y seguramente  otras provincias,  la esperanza de que ellos consigan que la gente vote por el cristinismo. La ludopatia consiste en apostar el desgobierno a emitir mas dinero, porque   va por mas votos, y se lanzo una desenfrenada carrera que termina en el abismo, a menos que Ella, Cristina, lo eche a su mayordomo a patadas, y se ponga en manos de gente seria. . El ritmo de emisión monetaria se comprueba casi automática y fielmente por el precio del dolar, que demuestra como se deprecian  Argentina, su moneda, sus propiedades y las esperanzas de la sociedad. Estamos a fines de enero, y si la emisión  inflacionaria sigue en aumento, parece obvio que la apuesta es ludopatica, y tonta. Ya que  la gente que vota no toda obedece ciegamente a los intendentes, ni siquiera siendo empleados municipales.Es imposible para gobiernos demagogias, controlar los votos de la oposición  no pueden tener  cámaras de filmación en todas los cuartos oscuros. Cuando los precios parecen subir, la desconfianza aumenta al ritmo igual o mayor que el de la desvalorización del dinero.

En tren de apostar a ganar elecciones comprando la voluntad de los votantes, parece mejor tomar medidas demagogias peronistas directas, tipo jubilar a la gente a los cincuenta años las mujeres y a los cincuenta y cinco los hombres. Y triplicar los planes para las familias que necesitan dinero. Esa apuesta es mas exitosa, si se la larga justo antes de las elecciones nacionales, no hace falta emitir dinero hoy para entregar a intendentes municipales que llegado el momento, no pueden garantizar votos al cristinismo.  Pan para hoy y hambre para mañana es el sistema populista, tanto peronista como radical. La demagogia empobrece a todos, menos a los demagogos, que se benefician de ella. Roma pudo financiar su famosa Basílica gracias a que la gente creía que comprando indulgencias plenarias, se salvarían del infierno, y hoy la Catedral de Roma es posiblemente el mayor atractivo turístico romano, superando al famoso Coliseo.

Recordemos que emitir dinero inflacionario es delictivo. Y que todo comenzó con el primer gobierno de Perón  pero el delito de robar al pueblo desvalorizando el dinero o metro de valores, hoy parece normal. Los años pasan, la gente evoluciona, y los fascismos están en extinción en muchos lados. En Argentina todavía perdura, pero cada vez mas gente entiende que la inflación los perjudica, y que Abal Medina es peligroso, ya que su administración niega lo obvio y carece de credibilidad, dentro y fuera del país.

Hay apuestas peores que la emisión inflacionaria, que suponemos no serán efectuadas por el cristinismo, tipo declarar una guerra para recuperar Malvinas, porque  la Constitución lo impide en su clausula transitoria primera, y Cristina lo sabe.  Mucho mejor seria que la Presidenta – insistimos siempre – cambie de actitud y diga la verdad, cualquiera que sea, y contrate gente para administrarnos. Pero aunque no lo haga, es mejor que Cristina pierda dignamente las elecciones este año, a que siga engañando, porque la cosa se le puede hacer mas grave en el futuro, máxime cuando  el dolar supere los diez pesos,  una cifra redonda peligrosa. Me  hace recordar a que cuando Menem termino con la hiperinflacion alfonsinista, tuvo que cambiar el valor de la moneda, y el mentiroso Austral, la moneda espuria radical, termino siendo cambiada durante el gobierno de Menem, a razón de diez mil por cada dolar norteamericano. La vida del dinero Austral es la medida de la corrupción e incapacidad radical y alfonsinista.

Insistimos: la inflación alta termina volteando a los desgobiernos que la permitieron. Una pena que Ella no la frene, si realmente es progresista. Porque alguien la reemplazara, en forma legal, o por la forma en que de la Rúa fue desplazado, pese a no haber emitido dinero inflacionario. La sociedad no puede sobrevivir sin moneda confiable, porque cuando ella no existe, rige la ley de la Selva, ya que los contratos y obligaciones son incumplibles cuando la alta inflación existe, incluso si  negada o no reconocida por la Corte Suprema, como sucede con la actual, que fue precisamente designada por Kirchner, para ocultar la estafa duhaldista de la apropiación de las reservas ajenas del Banco Central y otros delitos peronistas. Que ningún político de la oposición denuncio al día de hoy, recordemos.

Pero que el mundo entero conoce, porque Steve H. Hanke lo informo en su famoso articulo UNA ESTAFA LEGALIZADA en Forbes Magazine, apenas la estafa se perpetro, a comienzos del 2002.  No olvidar.

 

¿DOLAR A DIEZ PESOS?

25 enero, 2013

La incultura monetaria argentina persiste, los gobiernos autoritarios la aman, es la mejor forma de robar a la sociedad, sin llamar demasiado la atención a la gente menos entendida en temas monetarios complejos. La inflación Argentina debe ser uno de los misterios para los economistas de algunos países del primer mundo, porque no todos pueden llegar a creer que seamos un país desgobernado para beneficio del Amo Presidente de turno y sus amigos. Una oligarquía enquistada desde hace mucho tiempo, que nos trajo como resultado un gobierno votado por el pueblo, siendo el primer electo el Coronel Perón  que prometió bienestar a todos y a todas, les prometió muchísimos derechos a todos, pero las obligaciones olvido enseñarlas, porque a la masa le gusta recibir promesas y ver  como algunos se benefician porque la Compañera de Perón les regalaba públicamente cosas que la mayoría apetecía, y buscaba que el momento llegara para poder todos recibir desde arriba, desde el poder peronista, riqueza material mayor. >Un engaño muy bien hecho, reconozcamos. Popularmente, a Perón no se podía derrotarlo en las urnas, supongo y por eso sus pares militares – los que lo encaramaron a Peron al puesto de candidato electoral a Presidente en 1946, se sintieron defraudados, asqueados y traicionados y lo expulsaron por la fuerza, en 1955. Esto ayudo a que el mito del peronismo exitoso continuara, porque la economía argentina había ido fracasado a partir de 1951, circa, porque el pais gastaba demasiado, y eso incluía lo que se robaba desde la administración cercana al Peronismo. Comprábamos caro importaciones del exterior, pero los que las autorizaban recibían participación de los importadores, y otro negocio a la inversa se hacia permitiendo a algunos selectos amigos asociados al Poder, exportar mientras que otros no podían  Pero la verdadera historia apenas se conoce. Los sucesivos gobernantes imitaron a Perón  en el sentido de pensar primero en ellos y sus amigos y familiares. Tanto militares como opositores. Existen mitos de que hubo un Presidente Argentino Honesto, Arturo H. Illia, pero no se sabe si los demás integrantes de la Administración Nacional durante su breve mandato, fueron igualmente honestos. La cuestión es que al doctor Illia lo echaron, para entrar militares a enmendar errores y horrores cometidos por los radicales, y ulteriormente también los radicales se peronizaron. Alfonsín Presidente implico  un peronismo tardío, pues  cuando asumió la Presidencia, mostró ser autoritario: su máximo sueño lo logro teóricamente  cuando consiguió aprobar una ley por la cual la Capital Federal de Argentina se trasladaba al sur, a Viedma, hacia el frio porque los radicales suponían que alejando la burocracia de nuestra actual Buenos Aires, llevando el gobierno lejos, los políticos se volverían mejores y  mas honestos.

La incapacidad administrativa de Alfonsín fue sorprendente, y la corrupción también. Por demagogia electoral, no subía impuestos y apelaba a la emisión monetaria, y en su ultima etapa, el setenta por ciento de los recursos del Estado provenían de la emisión de billetes bancarios sin respaldo. Esto enseña que es mejor subir impuestos que emitir dinero inflacionario, para no castigar a los pobres. Al final, la hiperinflacion derroto al charlatanerismo alfonsinista, y todo quedo en el olvido: la Capital Federal sigue siendo Buenos Aires, pero la Presidenta Cristina hace lo indecible para que los porteños no podamos progresar, porque somos un distrito electoral que impide que el cristinismo triunfe para designar Intendente. Y en este marco. pareciera que si hoy 25 de enero el dolar paralelo supero los siete pesos con sesenta centavos en el único mercado real que existe, el libre (o paralelo), es razonable que para fines del presente año, su precio alcance los diez pesos.

Una pena que otra vez mas el peronismo inflacionario y mentiroso ha fracasado, y que parezca difícil que Cristina ame un peso argentino serio, donde no hay emisión monetaria si el Congreso y el Banco Central no lo permiten. La diferencia entre nosotros y la Unión Norteamericana es patética. El poderoso Obama lucha duramente con la oposición  para que la Unión no tenga que cerrar por falta de presupuesto, y ahora han prometido en forma caballeresca, los Republicanos y Demócratas que en tres meses alcanzaran un acuerdo, para que la Unión Norteamericana cuente con suficientes dolares autorizados para poder seguir funcionando y manteniendo su burocracia en marcha, gracias a la cual, el peligro de ser la Unión atacada desde el exterior, se reduce, porque la Defensa es uno de los gastos considerados necesarios por esos yanquis que creen que tienen el derecho a forjarse privadamente su propio destino, en la Tierra prometida que ellos llaman América  es decir, el actual territorio ocupado por los cincuenta Estados asociados por medio de la Unión vía la Constitución que mas o menos conocemos, porque la nuestra, la Argentina, se inspiro en ellos. Allí y aquí se dice que la libertad debe ser protegida por la Unión  pero con distintos significados. Allá la Defensa funciona, sus armamentos son respetados por todo el mundo. Aquí  nuestros armamentos son descuidados, porque nos convertimos en un país fascista, donde nos metieron en una guerra absurda con el Reino Unido, la perdimos, y todavía nuestra Presidenta usa el tema como manera de hacer política  vituperando a Inglaterra, que tanto nos ayudo cuando San Martín necesitaba junto con O Higgins  viajar desde Santiago de Chile hasta Perú  para derrotar al asqueroso imperio borbonico, que tanta sangre sudamericana derramo por avidez, según recuerdan las históricas estrofas  del Himno Nacional argentino, en su versión no abreviada original.

UN CERO MAS ¿IMPORTA?

El Duhaldismo invento al kirchnerismo, y el recuerdo de ese peronismo de derecha quedara como el que causo la pesificasion, o sea, que nuestra moneda nacional dejase de estar anclada al dolar. En once años, de un peso un dolar, hoy la cotizacion es un dolar = siete pesos con sesenta centavos. Si llega a diez pesos, a fines de este año, tendriamos un cero mas, agregable a los trece ceros a la izquierda que perdio el dinero argentino a partir de que el peronismo inicio su tarea fascista de demolición de la Constitución Nacional liberal, digamos desde 1946 en adelante. Recordemos que Perón cambio la constitución en 1949, porque la vigente cuando asumió no le permitía reelección, aunque su mandato duraba seis años. Hoy, siguiendo el ejemplo de Carlos  Menem, que cambio la Constitución para tener un segundo mandato, Cristina consiguió ser reelecta, pero pareciera no le alcanza, pues ahora aspira ella a un tercer mandato, según la oposición y algunos medios. Hoy oí por radio algo que me dio pena: en vez de ser Cristina una Presidenta renga, en el sentido de lame duck, el Presidente que esta en su segundo mandato y ya no podrá ser reelecto, como en USA, el chiste era que parecía paraplejica pata (en ingles, la mujer del Duck).

EL BLOG DE DOMINGO F. CAVALLO

En su ultimo post, el doctor Cavallo da por fracasado al cristinismo y pide – para nosotros a la gente equivocada que apoyo al duhaldismo – que esperen que la Presidenta termine de irse, porque la Constitución no le permitirá una segunda reelección  y que luego en diciembre de 2015 todos los fracasados políticos diseñen un plan salvador. O sea, la misma mentira de siempre: porque la gente que nos engaño y no denuncio los latrocinios cometidos por el duhaldismo desde el Poder al que llego por vía tramposa, expulsando al Presidente de la Rua y luego al interino Adolfo Rodriguez Saa.

Con gobernantes y funcionarios que no quieren aceptar que un país necesita moneda seria, no podemos ir a ningún lado. Si alguien nos metió en la mentalidad inflacionaria, fue el peronismo, que contagio a todos desde 1946 en adelante. Intentemos averiguar cuantos presidentes o ministros de economía no se enriquecieron, y nos avisan, así lo difundimos desde aquí  Parecemos tan tramposos como los españoles, que ahora se sabe engañaban al mundo, para ser aceptados por la Comunidad Europea, que los rechazaba mientras vivía el caudillo fascista Franco, amado por la Iglesia, Hitler y Mussolini, pero que aterraba a los países europeos civilizados. Hoy se sabe cada vez mas que la gente de España quiere investigar el pasado fascista franquista, y se calcula que no podrá  porque la Derecha española es fuerte y la Iglesia siempre apoya el sistema franquista, para gloria de Dios y grandeza de España o algo parecido.

Sin moneda seria, es facil engañar a los subditos. Con moneda seria y goberantes serios, no se es país fascista  populista, sino algo mejor desde el punto de vista de los pobres y los que necesitan trabajar para sentirse mejor y encima labrarse el propio destino, como pasaba en Argentina hace mas de un siglo atrás  cuando la Constitución Liberal nos permitió crecer. Siendo país con gobierno autoritario fascista, la credibilidad desaparece, tanto frente al resto del mundo no fascista, sino también la gente se va dando cuenta. La inflación no puede ocultarse mucho tiempo, incluso poniendo severas penas a los medios de prensa que informan los indices de precios.

En el fondo, intentar frenar el precio del dolar, es estúpido  y supongo Cristina, siendo tan inteligente, lo sabe. Incluso sin necesidad de mantener su propia casa, porque al Presidente y su familia en Argentina se le paga todo, tengo entendido. Lo cual nos lleva a pensar sobre el sinsentido de intentar prohibir que los argentinos compremos o vendamos dolares al precio del mercado. Porque en definitiva ¿que es un dolar norteamericano?

La respuesta es difícil  pero creo que si decimos que equivale a un cheque contra el valor de la economía de la unión norteamericana, no nos equivocamos demasiado. Uno puede tener acciones norteamericanas de un banco conocido, pero  somo los bancos norteamericanos son privados, pueden perder dinero y fundirse, y sus acciones perderían valor. En cambio, un dolar verde en la mano equivale a tener una caruncular del valor de la economía norteamericana en poder de uno, en el propio bolsillo. Si uno esta en cualquier lugar del planeta Tierra, siempre habrá alguien dispuesto a entregar algo a cambio de un dolar verde. Comenzando por un pedazo de pan, algo imprescindible para seguir adelante.

Los modelos fascistas estatistas se hunden. No hablemos de Cuba, ni de Venezuela, por respeto a la salud de sus dueños. Pensemos en España, hoy asolada por el maldito desempleo. Que es producto de legislaciones torcidas fascistas, que premian indebidamente a los que no lo merecen y permiten que desde el Estado Ladrón se sigan haciendo ricos empresarios adictos al gobernante de turno, de derecha o izquierda, ya que el modelo franquista influyo mucho en Perón, amigo finalmente de Franco, porque ambos tenían formación militar autoritaria, y no eran ni abogados ni ingenieros. El mundo terminaba con ellos. Para Perón  su heredero era el Pueblo, es decir, nadie, aparte de su viuda a la que coloco como vice presidenta y se convirtió en la primera Presidenta Argentina en el instante en que Perón paso a la historia, el 1 de julio de 1971, creo recordar. El heredero de Franco es el actual Borbon, de la misma familia de la cual nos emancipamos, y contra la cual lucharon Saavedra, Belgrano, San Martín y otros. El mito de que el peronismo es bueno, coincide con el mito de que si votamos a gobernantes que nos prometen repartir riqueza, triunfaremos todos unidos. Y lo cierto es que triunfa el uno por mil, con suerte, de los que están en torno al Poder, sea nacional, provincial y municipal.

LA CHANCE DE CRISTINA

Menem, cuando asumió la Presidencia, no explico a fondo como  había planeado terminar con la hiperinflacion alfonsinista. Pero antes de asumir, había entrevistado en USA a Seteve H. Hanke, del Cato Institute, para que le creara un plan monetario  para que Argentina tuviese moneda seria. Que se conoció como la Convertibilidad, mal atribuida a Domingo F. Cavallo.  Como el fracaso radical obligo a  Alfonsín  dejar el gobierno medio año antes de tiempo,  a Menem se le complicaron las cosas. Pero desde que Menem asumió la Presidencia, hasta que lanzo su plan de convertibilidad que freno en solo cinco o seis meses la hiperinflacion heredada de Alfonsín,   transcurrieron aproximadamente dos años, creo recordar. Si Menem no hubiera frenado  la hiperinflacion, hubiera perdido el Poder, y no hubiera sido reelecto. Porque quedar un sin moneda creíble  demuestra la inutilidad del Capitán que dirige el buque Republica Argentina. Y Cristina quizás tenga a Menem disponible para que le cuente como hizo para solucionar los horrores alfonsinistas. Y ella puede anticiparse a la derecha tradicional, la misma que echo a Fernando de la Rúa  uno de los mas inútiles presidentes que tuvimos. Y la solución seria pactar ella con el tío Sam, vía Bill Clinton, alguien que no puede volver a ser presidente de la Unión  pero si asesor de nuestra Presidenta por el plazo que le queda en el cargo. Recordemos que Clinton y Obama son del mismo partido Demócrata  y que nada mal les vendría que Argentina deje de decir que estamos asociados con Fidel y Chavez, porque las personas pasan y los países quedan. Prefiero – y creo la mayoría de los argentinos coincidiría  – estar en situación parecida a la de los cincuenta Estados que se unieron para conformar la Unión Norteamericana, cuyas leyes sensatas y sistema jurídico previsible, causan confiabilidad interna y externa.

Cristina puede sorprender a la derecha, y convertirse en liberal, sabiendo que no sera Presidenta en 2015, pero que si arregla los desguisados que hizo, en el 2019 sera presidenciable. Y que todavía tiene tiempo para arreglar con un político confiable, quizás Scioli u otro, el que mas posibilidades  tenga, para que Argentina salga de esta etapa en la que Duhalde, el destructor de la moneda, nos metió a nosotros y a los Kirchners. Ojo, el sistema de medir pesos convertibles como pesos no convertibles, no fue idea de Néstor  sino de Duhalde, que robo las reservas del Banco Central, que estaban en forma de dolares  caucionados,  de propiedad de los tenedores de los pesos convertibles, según denuncio Steve H. Hanke cuando dijo que en Argentina se había producido una estafa legalizada. Pero nadie, de los señores a los que Cavallo menciona en su ultima charla de su blog, denuncio que el Banco Central había defraudado como fideicomisario, la confianza depositada en el por la Ley de Convertibilidad. Convencido estoy que Cristina nada entiende en torno de moneda y banco central, y que Néstor entendía bien lo importante que es tener dolares en su poder para alcanzar el Poder y mantenerse en el.  Pero Argentina es recuperable antes de lo que Cavallo indica, si Cristina hace cosas sensatas, y comienza por ese ABC que es el trabajo privado y la moneda seria, como forma de ir creando confianza, aunque mas no sea, tardia.  Ojo, a Alfonsin lo votaron porque los argentinos estábamos temerosos de que el peronismo con el candidato Italo Luder llegase a la Presidencia. El peronismo con Isabel Peron y el Rodrigazo,  estaba hundido, y quien lo reinvento  despues del fracaso de la Revolucion militar – paradojalmente – fue Alfonsín, que desgobernó en forma tan hiperinflacionaria y errónea  que el resultado fue que el peronismo volvió a reinventarse, como alternativa al espanto. Surgió el entonces desconocido Carlos S. Menem, derrotando al clásico aparato politico peronista manejado por Cafiero. Sin Alfonsín  hoy no habría peronismo. Y si Cristina no reacciona a tiempo, la derecha duhaldista o parecida, tomara el poder, cuando ella haya fracasado. Por eso, mis deseos de que Cristina abjure de un bolivarianismo del cual Simón Bolívar reiría  si estuviese vivo. Porque en la época de los grandes patriotas que luchaban contra los Borbones, los lideres eran gente seria, que no aspiraba al Poder. San Martín fue un ejemplo. Cristina dudo pueda serlo, pero si cambiara, en los próximos meses, todos estaríamos mejor. Y los amigos o conocidos de Cavallo no tendrían lugar en una Argentina seria no peronista y liberal, que seria una nueva oportunidad de demostrar que tenemos un país maravilloso, en la medida que no nos desgobiernen con promesas incumplibles. El trabajo privado, y no el Estado Ladrón, nos permitirá alcanzar el país al que todavía no llegamos.

 

 

¿NECESITADOS DE TRABAJAR?

25 enero, 2013

 

VOLVER A PAGINA INICIO

VIGESIMOSÉPTIMA CHARLA – 24-06-2001

de nuestra ex www incultura argentina com ar


DESOCUPACIÓN ES VIOLACIÓN DE DERECHOS HUMANOS DE LOS POBRES

                       La  desocupación HOY no tiene solución por culpa exclusiva del Gobierno, que al mantener vigentes leyes que impidan que los humildes consigan trabajo privado, LES ESTÁ VIOLANDO SU DERECHO NATURAL DE GANARSE LA VIDA CON SU TRABAJO Y SU DIGNIDAD. Así de sencillo.

                       La responsabilidad es EXCLUSIVA del Capitán que no ha cambiado el rumbo equivocado que llevaba la nave al momento que asumió su conducción. Como la dirección de Argentina está en manos de De la Rúa, que la  ha delegado todo en Domingo Cavallo, ambos son  VIOLADORES DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS DE LOS POBRES.

                      Esta VIOLACIÓN DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS de los desocupados humildes la denuncié ya en agosto del 2000 al DEFENSOR DEL PUEBLO DE LA NACIÓN ARGENTINA,Licenciado Eduardo MONDINO por fax adjunto, y jamás me lo contestó. Pero no me extraña, porque ¿qué puede entender de Derechos Humanos un Defensor del Pueblo que NO ES ABOGADO? Me sorprende que el Presidente lo haya designado para semejante función, pero es Chupete un personaje tan extraño que nombró a sus dos Ministros de Trabajo, Flamarique  (adjunto fax mandado a él en agosto del 2000, que tampoco contestó) y Patricia Bullrich, pero  ninguno de ellos es abogado. Por lo tanto ¿qué pueden entender de legislaciones para terminar con la desocupación?                      

                        El chiste de “la BANELCO”, de Flamarique,  le salió muy caro al Presidente, y el de Bullrich, que consiste en regalar planes Trabajar a quienes cortan rutas, es igualmente otro disparate como  herramienta  contra el desempleo:     LA DESOCUPACIÓN NO SE CURA REGALANDO PLANES TRABAJAR  sino legislando SENSATAMENTE desde el Gobierno para que los humildes puedan acceder a un trabajo en la actividad privada.

 LEVANTAMIENTO POPULAR EN SALTA 

                      La desocupación ha hecho rebalsar a la sociedad: el Ministro de Desarrollo Social, el joven Juampi Cafiero – ( ¿ niño bien de familia “próspera” que se siente progresista?) – quiere ponerse del lado de los indigentes que se alzaron en General Mosconi, Provincia de Salta, olvidando que esto fue EXCLUSIVAMENTE el resultado de la violación de sus derechos humanos a conseguir trabajo por parte de su propio Gobierno. ( También lo olvida la Ministra del Trabajo, cuando cree que regalando algunos pocos miserables Planes Trabajar a los piqueteros está haciendo política social.

                      Es para mí evidente que todos los violadores de derechos  humanos tienen una TARA MENTAL, y  que nuestros gobernantes los están violando abiertamente.

                      Una cosa es TRABAJAR, y otra muy distinta, exactamente su OPUESTO, son los PLANES TRABAJAR que se distribuyen desde el gobierno.

                      La persona que  trabaja  tiene la dignidad de GANARSE SU PROPIO PAN CON EL SUDOR DE SU PROPIA FRENTE: NADIE LE ESTA REGALANDO NADA, y por medio del laburo se integra en la sociedad en forma útil.

                      En cambio, años de demagogia equivocada (que rompió la Cultura del Trabajo en Argentina) acostumbraron a una creciente cantidad de personas a EXIGIR que desde el TODOPODEROSO ESTADO se les brinde trabajo, educación y techo, es decir, que se les solucione la vida en forma fácil. Ojo: estos son minorías en Argentina, normalmente los que lucran en torno a la política y al poder sindical. Y para ellos, los PLANES TRABAJAR, que normalmente producen poco trabajo a cambio del dinero que el Estado  entrega (dinero aportado por los contribuyentes con su propio trabajo personal) del  queda mucho queda en el camino: los políticos  “parten,  reparten y se quedan con la mayor parte”.

                     ¿Cómo es posible que De la Rúa no firme el decreto de Necesidad y Urgencia que permita que los humildes puedan trabajar ya mismo en condiciones legales de emergencia, con sueldos de trescientos pesos o menos, tal como proponemos desde esta página web? ¿No es capaz de comprender que hay que permitir que los desocupados entren a la cancha a luchar por la camiseta nacional? ¿No entiende que el Trabajo Humano es la mayor riqueza autentica de una nación? ¿O es que no ha tenido hasta ahora tiempo para ponerse a analizar cual es el verdadero motivo de la desocupación argentina?. A mi este Presidente, a quien voté, me asombra.

                    Reconozco tener ciertos prejuicios contra los estudiantes tragas que se reciben con medalla de oro en la Facultad, y obviamente, contra los que recibieron medalla de oro en un Liceo Militar durante la época del fascismo militar argentino. En el primer caso,  porque generalmente son gente que estudian de memoria, y en el segundo, porque quedan con la mentalidad distorsionada  (sem-fascista en el mejor de las hipótesis), es decir, que no son capaces de entender como funcionan los verdaderos derechos humanos en la vida real. Pero así y todo, supuse que el doctor De la Rúa junto con Chacho Alvarez, nos gobernarían con SENTIDO COMUN, ya que es mucho mejor negocio hacer un buen gobierno (incluso para un gobernante corrupto) que hacer uno pésimo y que el pueblo esté pidiendo a gritos que renuncie, y encima, le quede menos tiempo y oportunidades para robar.

                    Pero lo que hoy nos sucede, peor que incultura,  es una ESTUPIDEZ NACIONAL: insisto en que NINGUN  sector de políticos y economistas comprenden algo tan obvio como   que la desocupación argentina se debe EXCLUSIVAMENTE a que no hay suficientes patrones en la actividad privada por dos motivos: a) porque los costos indirectos (aportes jubilatorios y previsionales) encarecen tanto la mano de obra que al eventual patrón no le resulta económico emplear mas gente, y b) porque las leyes laborales castigan tanto a los modestísimos patrones argentinos, que éstos están tan DESALENTADOS que no se atreven a contratar empleados en relación de dependencia.

                       Mientras nada cambie, TERMINAR CON LA DESOCUPACIÓN SIN GASTAR UN SOLO PESO DEL ESTADO seguirá siendo mi caballito de batalla: pido disculpas por mi redundancia, pero SIN EL  TRABAJO DE LOS DESOCUPADOS  ARGENTINA NO SE LEVANTA.