10. ARGENTINA ADOPTS NEW DATA PROTECTION REGULATIONS FOR THE USE OF DO NOT CALL REGISTRY AND CCTV (The National Law Review)By Benedict Mander in Buenos AiresApril 26, 2015Putin wants to limit his global isolation by stepping up engagement in the regionArgentine President Cristina Fernández’s jokes were lost in translation when she sought to win over a group of bemused Russian businessmen during a visit to Moscow last week, but her central message was clear: their investments would be welcome in Argentina.But although Russia’s commercial interests in Latin America have grown over the past decade, they remain limited and are trumped by a need for political allies as the crisis continues in Ukraine, and Moscow suffers from US and EU sanctions after its annexation of Crimea last year.“Russia needs friends, not only in trade but also at the UN, and it is looking for them wherever it can,” says Diana Negroponte, a Cold War specialist at the Wilson Center, pointing out that Argentina’s own rocky relations with western powers such as the US and the UK make it a perfect ally.In Moscow, Ms Fernandez thanked a smiling Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, for his support in her government’s legal dispute with “holdout” hedge funds, which have hindered foreign investment in Argentina, and in its claim over the disputed Falkland Islands. In return, Argentina abstained in a UN vote last year calling on member states not to recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea.But a memorandum of co-operation signed between YPF, Argentina’s state-controlled energy company, and Russia’s Gazprom to develop the Vaca Muerta shale formation in Patagonia, which holds among the largest shale oil and gas reserves in the world, was vague and non-committal.That is despite it being Argentina’s top investment priority, since its development would enable a costly energy deficit that will require investments of some $200bn, mostly from abroad, to be reversed.“It’s very strange that Gazprom, the largest gas producer in the world with a lot of gas that it can’t sell, would come here for gas,” said Daniel Gerold, an energy consultant in Buenos Aires, suggesting that there may be a political motivation behind the deal. “I would be very surprised to see sizeable investments materialise in the short term, to put it politely,” he said.Mr Gerold said that a Russian-financed $2bn hydroelectric plant and a contract for Russian firms to build a new nuclear power station were of greater significance — if they happen, he cautions.Indeed, according to local press reports, executives who met with Ms Fernandez — as well as being puzzled by her joke that she would forgive her German-descended tourism minister “in spite of [Angela] Merkel” — were swift to express their concern about Argentina’s strict currency controls. They are behind dozens of complaints made against Argentina before the World Trade Organisation by countries including the US, the EU and Japan.Russia has found markets in Latin America for its arms industry — until oil prices started falling, Venezuela proved to be its best, if most controversial, client in the region. But the country has also turned to Latin America more recently to boost food imports, especially from the agricultural powerhouses of Argentina and Brazil, after sanctions have prevented it from importing from its traditional trading partners in Europe and the US.Russia needs friends, not only in trade but also at the UN, and it is looking for them wherever it can– Diana Negroponte, the Wilson CenterTweet this quoteRussian trade with Latin America has leapt from $3bn in 2000, when Moscow began to rekindle relations with the region a decade after the fall of the Soviet Union, to around $24bn in 2013, according to Ms Negroponte. But that remains small change for Russia, and pales in comparison to the $260bn in trade between Latin America and China, while the US remains the region’s top trading partner.Vladimir Davydov, director of the Latin America institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that Russia was “acting as a counterpoint to the US” in the region. “Latin America now considers itself more independent [of the US]. They want to decide their own affairs, not only in economics, but in matters of defence, of foreign policy,” he said. “And we in Russia applaud this.”Ms Negroponte observed that, as well as Argentina, Russia is most actively deepening ties with countries that have a long history of antagonism with Washington: Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.Speculation that Russia will lease Argentina 12 Soviet-era long-range bombers in exchange for beef and grain exports has even triggered concerns in the UK government that Buenos Aires poses a “very live threat” to the Falkland Islands, where the UK ramped up spending last month to reinforce defences.“What for? Argentina doesn’t even have any aircraft or ships that could attack [the Falklands],” said a source at the foreign ministry, who emphasised that Argentina is firmly committed to resolving the dispute through diplomatic channels.Meanwhile, Jorge Castro, a specialist in international relations dismisses the idea that Ms Fernandez may have “pivoted” towards countries such as Russia and China away from more traditional allies. “This government doesn’t have a foreign policy. It is constantly subordinated to the needs of internal political conflicts,” he says.By Jonathan Gilbert25 April 2015BUENOS AIRES — International flights into Argentina were halted on Friday as winds swept a sprawling volcanic ash cloud toward Buenos Aires, the capital. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines were among the carriers affected by the cloud, and they suspended their flights from the United States into the main airport in Buenos Aires. The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile, which borders Argentina, violently erupted this week for the first time in half a century, spewing ash miles up into the sky and setting off lightning bolts. After Chilean officials evacuated thousands of people from the surrounding area, the ash cloud wrought havoc as it drifted across the Andes, causing airport, road and school closings in Argentina’s provinces, and jeopardizing a gubernatorial election scheduled for Sunday. Calbuco is expected to continue erupting, the head of Chile’s state geology service said Friday.By Felipe Iturrieta26 April 2015SANTIAGO, Chile — Ash from the Chilean volcano Calbuco, which erupted without warning this past week, reached as far as southern Brazil on Saturday and prompted some airlines to cancel flights to the capitals of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.Calbuco, considered one of the most dangerous along Chile’s chain of around 2,000 volcanoes, erupted twice in 24 hours Wednesday and Thursday, sending up a spectacular 11-mile-high cloud and coating nearby towns in a thick layer of gray ash.Authorities have set up a 12-mile cordon around Calbuco, in the scenic Los Lagos region, around 620 miles south of the capital Santiago, evacuating more than 6,500 people in the area.“The dangerous nature of volcanic activity like this, plus the volcano’s current instability that could lead to more intense activity in the short term, indicates we should maintain the perimeter,” Chile’s national office of emergency said in its latest report.Authorities allowed people who had been evacuated to return briefly Saturday to check their houses and animals and to pick up clothes and medication.Some houses and schools located close to the volcano have collapsed under the weight of the ash.The ash also presents a threat to air traffic, as particles in the atmosphere can cause problems for planes. With winds blowing the ash cloud northeast into Argentina, Argentine air traffic has been the worst affected so far.Delta Air Lines, Air France, American Airlines, Air Canada and Qantas Airways have suspended flights from and to the airports of Santiago, Buenos Aires and Montevideo as a precautionary measure.But Chile’s LAN and Aerolineas Argentinas were operating flights as usual from those airports.“The situation is much better than yesterday,” said a spokesman for Argentina’s National Civil Aeronautic Administration.“The airports (of Buenos Aires) are operating normally. The first ash cloud has already passed by, and the second is on the move. American Airlines is not operating on their own accord, nor are Delta Air Lines, or United. They are evaluating the situation on a day-to-day basis.”Some flights also had been canceled in southern Brazil, in Rio Grande do Sul, broadcaster O Globo reported. Officials from the Brazilian aviation agency Infraero were not immediately available for comment.The head of Chile’s mining and geological service said Friday the volcanic process could last for weeks.By Sarah Marsh24 April 2015BUENOS AIRES, April 24 (Reuters) – Argentina’s central bank is ramping up issuance of short-term debt to soak up pesos and contain one of Latin America’s quickest inflation rates, but risks creating another financing headache for the next government.So far this year, the central bank has issued far more short-term “Lebac” securities, which typically range from three-months to one-year in maturity, than in all of 2014.This is helping mop up some of the liquidity resulting from President Cristina Fernandez’s expanding the money supply to finance populist subsidies and far-reaching welfare programs.Between January 1 and April 1 the central bank issued “Lebacs” worth 310.70 billion pesos, compared with 261.45 billion pesos worth in the whole of 2014, Thomson Reuters data showed. To attract takers, it has also nearly doubled interest rates payable on the Lebacs in the past two years.By doing so, the central bank is containing the upward spiral in prices that is a top voter concern ahead of October’s presidential poll. Fernandez cannot run for a third term, but her ruling party is seeking to hold onto the presidency.But the cost of this quick fix, rather than reducing the deficit, is a swelling of the central bank’s debt holdings and a sharp rise in interest payments financed from its profits.This means fewer profits to transfer to the next government at year-end. Those profits accounted for between 7 and 8 percent of government revenues last year, economists estimate.“The central bank’s strategy is to delay real solutions. The next government will be the one paying the price,” said Aldo Pignanelli, a former chief of Argentina’s central bank who is now advising opposition presidential aspirant Sergio Massa.The central bank declined to comment.By issuing so much debt, the central bank is also crowding out loans to the private sector, economists say.Buenos Aires-based think tank Estudio Bein estimates the central bank’s profits will tumble to about 7.6 billion pesos this year from 95.6 billion in 2014 in the light of interest payments on those Lebacs.“Once you have paid the interest, there will be no profits left,” said Federico Sturzenegger, economic adviser to Mauricio Macri, a pro-business front-runner in the presidential race and mayor of Buenos Aires. “Also, the interest on these Lebacs creates money supply dynamics of its own.”Sturzenegger underscored that his camp’s aim was to reduce reliance on central bank transfers quickly and instead raise funds through subsidy cuts, stronger economic growth and possibly sovereign debt issuance.However, the next president will take over the helm of an economy that faces restricted access to capital markets due to Argentina’s battle with New York hedge funds in U.S. courts over debt it defaulted on in 2002.Thus the additional financing constraint caused by the central bank’s inflation quick fix will likely put more pressure on the new administration to strike a deal with the funds.“They will be desperate for financing and there are now fewer and fewer financing options,” said Siobhan Morden, emerging market debt strategist at Jefferies.By Paul Kilby24 April 2015NEW YORK, April 24 (IFR) – Argentina won a small victory in its long legal war against holdout bondholders this week when it overrode litigant investors’ objections to raise US$1.416bn through a local tap of its Bonar 8.75% 2024s.For the sovereign, the move marks a rare success story in its latest attempts to gain access to international capital, albeit through a local auction.The Kirchner government appears to have learnt from past botched sales of the Bonar 2024s, which failed either because of poor pricing or exposure to legal risks.Market-determined pricing in a local auction that helped ring-fence participants from legal claims in US courts allowed Argentina to score a victory on this occasion.Holdout investors suing the sovereign – including billionaire Paul Singer’s NML Capital and Aurelius Capital – were quick to cry foul, asking US courts to force Argentina and banks involved in the deal (Deutsche Bank and BBVA) to disclose details of the bond sale.“We are closely scrutinising this highly unusual transaction to determine what enforcement actions are appropriate,” Robert Cohen, an attorney for NML Capital, said in statement last week.But the holdouts’ attempts to block the sale, which settled on April 23, have so far had little impact on the trade, potentially opening up market access for the sovereign in the future.“It will be positive to the extent that Argentina can still issue paper,” said Jorge Piedrahita, CEO of broker Torino Capital, who noted that foreign accounts had expressed interest in the auction. “It is clear also that holdouts do not have the capacity to interrupt an issue like this,” he said.Priced at 103, the deal may have come at a large concession to the recent highs of around 109.50, but nevertheless allowed Argentina to generate some US$1.8bn in demand and upsize the transaction from an initial US$500m.“They had to give a huge concession,” said Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America strategy at Jefferies. “They took US$1.4bn but at a huge cost.”UNDERWHELMINGThis stands in contrast to a transaction in December, when the embattled South American nation tried but failed to carry out a reopening of the Bonar 2024s – along with a swap of its maturing Boden 2015s – after an underwhelming response from foreign accounts dissatisfied with the pricing set by the sovereign.A second stab at selling the securities this year to international accounts also flopped when bookrunners Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan put the offering on hold after a US judge ordered them to produce documents.This week’s deal – along with oil company YPF’s recent upsized US$1.5bn offering – was largely seen as credit-positive for the country, leaving it with US$32.675bn in reserves, the highest level since 2013, according to Piedrahita.It provides some breathing room for a sovereign facing maturity payments close to US$6bn on outstanding Boden 2015s due in October.The extent of foreign participation in the auction is important if the government wishes to raise US dollars without eating into foreign reserves. That’s because local investors will have to access dollar deposits to buy the bond.“Gross reserves reflect private sector bank deposits,” said Jefferies’ Morden. “If you want to finance without reserve declines, you have to attract foreigners.”By Pablo Rosendo GonzalezApril 27, 2015Some of the world’s biggest miners are ready to spend at least $5 billion in Argentina if October’s presidential elections herald an easing of capital restrictions.Goldcorp Inc., the largest gold miner by market value, billionaire Ivan Glasenberg’s Glencore Plc and Yamana Gold Inc. are among producers signaling new investments in the country if the next government is more receptive to the industry, according to the country’s industry association and provincial and company officials briefed on the matter.President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner restricted imports and repatriated export revenue since she was re-elected in 2011. She created currency controls that hurt international mining companies and led Brazil’s Vale SA to cancel a $5.9 billion potash project in the country. The main presidential candidates appear more amenable to luring foreign investment, according to Martin Dedeu, president of the Argentine Mining Chamber. Fernandez isn’t allowed to seek a third term.“The three leading candidates are convinced about the importance of the industry,” Dedeu said by telephone from Buenos Aires. “Daniel Scioli has said mining should be an engine for the economy, Mauricio Macri has been consistent in his support and Sergio Massa has said the sector deserves attention.”Dedeu, who has met all the candidates, said the next president probably will lower mining taxes and gradually reduce currency controls including a ban on dividends going offshore.Pachon StudyJorge Mayoral, Argentina’s federal mining secretary, wasn’t available to comment, an assistant said by phone.Ricardo Morales Delgado, Scioli’s spokesman, didn’t reply to calls seeking comment. Mauricio Macri is in favor of sustainable mining operations, his spokesman said in a phone interview. Claudio Ambrosini, Massa’s spokesman, had no immediate comment, he said in a phone interview.In San Juan province, Glencore is considering a $3 billion investment to double copper production in Argentina over three years, according to a company official.The proposal at El Pachon, 2,682 meters (8,799 feet) above sea level, was unveiled to San Juan’s provincial governor in a meeting on April 14 by Telis Mistakid, Glencore’s head of copper mining and trading, said a Glencore official, who asked not to be named because the meeting and talks were private.Currency ControlsThe Baar, Switzerland-based company will file an environmental impact study in the fourth quarter, with permitting approval expected in 2016, at which time the new president will be in office, the official said. While taxes on mining are less than the 35 percent that some soybean exporters pay, the capital and currency restrictions do pose challenges. Companies can wait months for federal government permission to import a single truck part, the official said.Charles Watenphul, Glencore’s spokesman, had no immediate comment, he said in a telephone interview from London.El Pachon is scheduled to reach full production in 2018, when analysts expect copper prices to recover. Prices are about 40 percent below the record set in 2011.Argentina’s second-largest mining project has similar timing. Yamana said Feb. 2 that it will invest $398 million in Cerro Moro, a gold and silver mine in Santa Cruz province. About $30 million will be spent later this year, when formal groundbreaking for construction is scheduled. The rest will be spent in 2016 and 2017, with production poised to begin in the second half of 2017, the Toronto-based company has said.Construction won’t start unless federal regulations are changed including currency controls and repatriation of export revenue, a provincial mining department official said, asking not be named in line with departmental policy.Marcelo Agulles, a Yamana spokesman in Argentina, said the company’s plans are firm under current Argentine regulation, and may be halted if gold or silver prices slump. He spoke in a phone interview from San Juan.Capital FlightThree provincial mining officials interviewed by Bloomberg said federal regulatory changes are expected by the 10 provinces that own resources as their income has fallen since October 2011, when Fernandez ordered mining companies to repatriate all export revenue and companies cut investments.That month, the federal government, seeking to stem accelerating capital flight from South America’s biggest economy after Brazil, changed a 2002 decree requiring companies to keep 30 percent of their export revenue in the country, a move the mining provinces would like reverted.Some provinces rely on mining taxes to finance more than half of their budgets. Catamarca, for example, gets 69 percent of its budget from mining income.‘Challenging’ ConditionsIn March, Yamana signed an accord with Catamarca province to invest in mines including Agua Rica and Cerro Atajo. The agreement gives the province a 5 percent stake in the company’s Argentine projects and creates a provincial mining district.Goldcorp, too, is already betting on Argentina, building the Cerro Negro gold mine in Santa Cruz province that began commercial output in January and is targeting production of 425,000 to 475,000 ounces this year.The Vancouver-based company booked a $2.3 billion writedown on Cerro Negro in the fourth quarter, citing “challenging fiscal conditions.” CEO Chuck Jeannes said in an interview in March that he still had high hopes for the Argentine mine as elections would bring beneficial changes.If the incoming government does ease capital restrictions, Goldcorp will look to accelerate spending and boost output, according to a Santa Cruz official briefed on the matter, who asked not to be named because it hasn’t been made public.German Stocker, a Goldcorp spokesman in Argentina, said capital expenditure for this year is at minimum levels, declining to comment on plans for coming years.Provincial RoyaltiesA slump in crude prices is making resource-rich provinces in Argentina more open to mining projects to compensate for declines in energy revenues.With an expected loss of 1.2 billion pesos ($135 million) hydrocarbon royalties this year, Chubut province is considering reopening talks with Pan American Silver Corp. with a view to resuming development of the Navidad silver project, said a government official who isn’t authorized to speak publicly.Ricardo Zarandon, Pan American Silver manager in Argentina, didn’t reply to Bloomberg calls seeking comment.Navidad, designed to produce 19.8 million ounces a year in the first five years, has been on hold since 2012. Chubut province has revoked a blanket ban on open-pit mining, leaving decisions to local communities, which have not yet been approached. Navidad may bring 2.5 billion pesos to the province, according to Buenos Aires-based research company Abeceb.com.“All these projects will be executed if, and only if, the new federal administration changes regulations,” said Mariano Lamothe, chief economist at Abeceb.com. “The companies are announcing projects as an invitation to presidential candidates to set the table for the arrival of dollars. I’m sure these changes will happen.”By Charlie DevereuxApril 24, 2015Flights to Argentina’s second-busiest airport were canceled as winds carried a huge ash cloud toward the nation’s capital following the eruption of a volcano nearly 2,000 kilometers away in southern Chile.American Airlines Group Inc canceled all of its flights to Buenos Aires’s Ezeiza airport on Friday, while Delta Airlines called off two flights and Air France-KLM and Air Canada one each, said Carlos Armentano, head of media and publicity at airport operator Aerolineas Argentinas 2000. The cancellations were part of preventive measures as the volcanic ash was expected to reach the airport by midday local time, Armentano said.The Chilean government yesterday declared a state of catastrophe in the area surrounding Calbuco Volcano in the southern Lakes Region and evacuated more than 4,000 people after two eruptions blew smoke and ash 11 km into the sky, according to geology service Sernageomin. Wind carried ash across the Andes cordillera, covering the Argentine cities of Bariloche, Villa La Angostura and San Martin de los Andes, local media reported.The ash cloud continued to travel northward and reached central Argentina on Friday. A flight from Buenos Aires to the port city of Bahia Blanca in the south of Buenos Aires province had to turn around because of ash at the airport. Bariloche and Neuquen airports in Argentina’s northern Patagonia have been closed since yesterday, Armentano said.Preventive MeasuresAirline companies are taking preventive measures because the ash can damage jet engines, Armentano said. While the ash hasn’t yet reached Ezeiza and is subject to variations in wind direction, more flights will probably be canceled once it arrives, he said. Ezeiza handles 85% of international flights to Argentina, according to airport regulator ORSNA.“The ash is so abrasive — it’s like the pumice stone you find here in Argentina — that the risk is it will destroy the plane,” Armentano said.After canceling flights to and from southern Chile, Latam Airlines Group SA’s operations have now returned to normal, the company said Friday in a statement posted on its website.In 2011, another ash cloud from an eruption in southern Chile’s Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic complex caused cancellations and delays in international flights to and from Argentina over a period of more than 30 days. Damage to livestock and crops led Argentina to declare an agriculture emergency in the southern provinces of Rio Negro, Chubut and Neuquen.25 April 2015Greece could alleviate its shortage of cash by issuing IOUs, but only for a timeFOR the third time in five years, Greece is looking into the abyss. As in 2010 and 2012 the Hellenic Republic looks likely to run out of cash, and may soon miss scheduled debt repayments. But this time Syriza, Greece’s new ruling party, has alienated its creditors, making the previous solution (a co-ordinated default, coupled with a bail-out) harder to achieve. Yet a unilateral default might prompt the European Central Bank to withdraw its lifeline from Greece’s banks, leaving the country little choice but to abandon the euro–an outcome 84% of Greeks want to avoid. As Syriza scrabbles around for alternatives, a monetary trick sometimes used in such emergencies–issuing temporary IOUs, or “scrip”, in lieu of cash–is starting to look tempting.Scrip can help governments conserve hard cash, something Greece certainly needs to do. It has debts of around EUR315 billion ($340 billion)–175% of GDP–and must make payments of EUR2.5 billion before the end of June. To find that cash it could start making some of its regular payments in paper IOUs, which can be used to pay taxes at a later date, rather than euros. The bulk of the Greek state’s annual outgoings of EUR80 billion is paid to its citizens–EUR22 billion in salaries, EUR35 billion in benefits. They would have little choice if the government decided to pay them in scrip instead of euros. If all government salaries had been paid in scrip last year, the country would have had a surplus of EUR27 billion euros, leaving plenty to pay back foreign creditors. Scrip itself would soon become a means of exchange.Scrip has a rich history. Massachusetts paid its citizens “tax anticipation notes” instead of cash in the 1690s, according to a paper* by Richard Sylla of the Stern School of Business at New York University. These were swapped for cash once the anticipated tax had been collected. California used scrip in 2009. The recession had sapped revenues, and bickering legislators could not agree on a revised budget. The state began to pay benefits, tax rebates and other bills in “registered warrants” rather than dollars. In all, it issued 450,000 IOUs with a value of $2.6 billion.California made the scrip more palatable by promising to pay annual interest of 3.75% on it. This persuaded some recipients to hold on to it, meaning that Californian residents were, in effect, lending to the state. For those who wanted cash, local banks initially agreed to exchange the scrip for dollars, thereby acquiring the right to the interest due. Within two months the budget impasse was over and the scrip was redeemed. That was only just in time: the big banks, worried about their growing exposure to the scrip, had stopped buying it.Greek scrip would face bigger problems. California’s economy is eight times the size of Greece’s and its decent credit rating lent its IOUs some credence. A better analogue for Greece, which has an unemployment rate of 26% and a reputation for default, is Argentina. In 2001 the Argentine government, struggling to service its debts, started paying its citizens by issuing a tax voucher, the lecop. The country’s provinces began to pay salaries and pensions in scrip. According to IMF analysis the value of these new quasi-monies rose to 7.5 billion pesos ($2.4 billion) by the end of 2002, or around 50% of the value of pesos in circulation.Argentina’s experience was much less encouraging than California’s. One problem was the proliferation of scrips: there were soon a dozen of them, including Buenos Aires’s patacon, Corrientes’s cecacor and Formosa’s boncafor. That made trade between provinces difficult. What is more, Argentines spent scrip of any sort as soon as they could, and hoarded pesos.Centuries of experience suggest that such a response is typical. In the 16th century Sir Thomas Gresham, an English financier, argued that if a country had two types of coin made of different alloys but with the same face value, the one containing more precious metal would cease to circulate. Citizens would spend the “bad” coins, and hoard the “good” ones. “Gresham’s law”–that bad money chases out good–applies to paper cash too. Shikuan Chen of Taipei University cites paper IOUs issued by China’s government in 1287 with a face value of a fixed number of silver coins. The people responded by hoarding coins, so the paper drove the coins out of circulation.The euro, terminatedThe history of scrip suggests two problems if Greece resorts to it. In Argentina, the rise of scrip helped undermine the public’s confidence in cash in general. A system of national bartering based on an informal token, the crédito , blossomed. This system was created at a local level by merchants, not by the cash-strapped state. And rather than lift the government’s revenue the informal cash made it tougher to track income and profits, and thus harder to calculate and collect taxes. The euro area has small-scale informal currencies: Bavarians with misgivings about the soundness of the euro, for instance, can use the c hiemgauer; Bremen has the roland. It would be ironic if Greece issued scrip to get around a revenue shortfall, only to find that scrip exacerbated the problem.The second problem is bigger. Since any Greek scrip would clearly be less desirable than euros (it would be accepted by the Greek government for tax payments, but could not be used to buy foreign goods or services), Gresham’s law would apply. If Greek banks accepted scrip, they would soon be flooded with it and drained of euros, making it hard to pay the interest on their own debts. Scrip would have solved the state’s euro shortage, but only by shifting it to the banking system. So scrip is no silver bullet. It might be a way to buy Syriza a few months breathing-space, but the only long-term solution to the cash crunch is the tough one: the state must earn more euros and spend fewer.By Jonathan Gilbert26 April 2015GENERAL RODRÍGUEZ, Argentina — With dusk falling, Nico García squatted down to read the perilous 20-foot par putt. Needing only a bogey to win Argentina’s national championship, he sent the ball snaking downhill across the green, where it stopped just short of the hole. He tapped in for victory — not with a putter, but with the instep of his soccer cleat.García’s game is not golf but footgolf, a hybrid that borrows rules and courses from its more established relation, only with a larger ball, a 21-inch hole and feet instead of clubs. As footgolf emerges as one of the modern alternatives to golf, the subject of fretting over a precipitous drop in participation, Argentina has established itself as the dominant force in the game.”There’s no doubt that we’re a level above the other countries,” said Christian Otero, 36, Argentina’s top-ranked player.Footgolf, which is played with a regulation soccer ball on a shortened golf course, was formally invented about six years ago in the Netherlands. It came to Argentina shortly after, in 2010, and has flourished: Organized leagues have been formed across the country and the best players, led by Otero, often compete abroad.The regular competition has given Argentines an unrivaled springboard to develop their game swiftly, said Javier de Ancizar, the 38-year-old president of Argentina’s footgolf association. But Argentina’s strength on the world stage — footgolf’s international governing body has 28 member countries — is also attributed to innate talent, or what de Ancizar called the ”raw material” of footgolf.”When you’re born, a soccer ball is the first present you receive,” said Marcos Cortés, 29, a steel salesman who is ranked 21st nationally. ”Striking the ball is in our physiology; it’s automatic.”It was an Argentine living in Palm Springs, Calif., who introduced the game in the United States and later helped to found the American FootGolf League. Footgolf is now growing across the United States, where golf courses seeking revenue are embracing it.Argentina will host the second World Cup next year, after Hungary — the other seedbed of footgolf talent — held the inaugural competition in 2012. (Players always compete individually, but the World Cup may have a team format and prize, too.)”The Argentine league is at the vanguard,” said Marcelo Landau, 56, an Argentine-born American who promotes and organizes footgolf in Florida and represented the United States at the World Cup in Hungary. ”Other countries follow Argentina’s steps.”Traditional golf in Argentina remains a hobby of the elite, and a vast majority of footgolf players here are defectors from soccer.”Soccer is my wife,” Matías Perrone said, standing on the 10th tee at the national championship. ”And footgolf is my mistress; she tempts me.”Perrone, 32, an advertising agent who alongside Otero is one of the world’s best players, is also a striker for Santa Marta, a neighborhood soccer team in Buenos Aires. In 20 years of playing for Santa Marta, he said, the only events that led him to miss matches were violent illness and a qualifier for the footgolf World Cup.He has been at the forefront of the sport’s rise, securing sponsorship from apparel companies and his municipal government long before his rivals. Last year, he competed in what were billed as the sport’s first pro-am events in Hamburg, N.J., and Oxnard, Calif. Perrone and Otero defeated international fields to win both tournaments, and their countrymen packed the leaderboards.But while Argentine players have established themselves as the world’s best, beginners here sometimes struggle to adapt to the frustrations and etiquette of the sport.”In soccer, there is a lot of trickery,” said Julio Colacci, 40, a businessman who plays on a circuit based in Mar del Plata, a coastal town, and likes to compete wearing a fuchsia beret. ”Argentines are hustlers, and we find it hard to respect the rules.”Equipment is mix and match. Players wear polo shirts and use soccer cleats designed for artificial turf. Off the tee, some use low-profile training cones as tees. Every player, however, opts for the same model of soccer ball — the 2011 Adidas Speedcell, which is prized because it runs fast on the longer grass of the fairways.Otero has amassed an envious stock of 15 Speedcells, but since the model is no longer manufactured, players hunt for them like hidden treasure. In his quest to find one last year, Cortés stopped at every town during the drive from his hometown, Carcarañá, in Santa Fe province, to a tournament in Uruguay. He eventually found one at a sports store in Concordia, a border city.”It’s a four-hour drive, but it took me eight or nine,” Cortés said.Searching online, he also located a prized Speedcell at a store in California. But, agonizingly, when his sister took a trip to the West Coast, she neglected to gauge the importance of his request and did not bother to collect it.While they prefer the Speedcell now, Otero and Perrone — constantly pushing to evolve the sport — have pioneered a prototype for a ball that they think is more accurate.”It lacks precision,” Otero, an agent for prominent soccer players, said before drilling a Speedcell down the fairway of the 200-yard first hole, a par 4, at the national championship. ”It moves a lot in the air. We’re looking for a ball that is both long and precise.” Otero’s approach skirted a bunker and skidded toward the flag, leaving him an eight-yard uphill putt for birdie that he rolled in.The technique for approach shots resembles that used by soccer players doodling after a training session, when they pick a target and chip balls toward it. A version of this was, in fact, the inspiration for inventing footgolf, said Michael Jansen, 57, the game’s co-founder.But mirroring debates around the origins of other sports, there are historical antecedents to footgolf. Codeball-on-the-green, founded in the late 1920s by William E. Code in Chicago, was a cheap alternative to golf and tennis, and it bolstered revenue for some golf clubs. It was even approved by the chief amateur sports association in the United States.Newspaper articles from the era describe a sport nearly identical to footgolf. One story, from 1937, reported that codeball had percolated across the Midwest, even reaching Hawaii and Canada, and gained a following of 50,000 people. Remarking on the apparent simplicity of the sport, another report warned, ”Kicking a large, soft ball into one of these 18-inch bowls may sound easy, but it isn’t.”Decades later, even though the cups are slightly bigger, little has changed.”The hardest thing,” said Gustavo Galarza, 28, a convenience store owner who finished 20th in the 95-man field here at the Argentine championship, ”is getting the ball in the hole.”10. ARGENTINA ADOPTS NEW DATA PROTECTION REGULATIONS FOR THE USE OF DO NOT CALL REGISTRY AND CCTV (The National Law Review)By Effie D. SilvaApril 25, 2015The Argentinian Data Protection Authority (DPA) beefs up penalties to fight robocalls and unconsented-to video surveillance by enacting Do Not Call and CCTV regulations.Because robocalls are cheap and efficient, they have become a quite popular form of advertising in Argentina. In order to curb the variety of abuses that can come from robocalling—such as deceptive and abusive marketing—Argentina is injecting into their regulatory regime penalty-driven regulations that will address the problems presented by robocalls. This will preserve their beneficial use while still complying with Argentina’s privacy law requirements. Specifically, the February 2015 sanctions regulation addresses the recently adopted national Do Not Call registry that was implemented at the start of this year.To comply with the Do Not Call regulations, companies need to register and download the database of individuals who do not want to be called. If companies fail to do so, they can be subject to various serious fines of up to USD $12,000. Examples of serious breaches include the processing of personal data without the DPA registration or breach of the Do Not Call regulation in marketing campaigns (even if the caller is located abroad). Any international transfers in breach of the Data Protection Act and its regulations would be considered a more serious breach. Indeed, the DPA has already issued 60 enforcement notices based on this new sanctions regulation.In February, the DPA also enacted a law regulating the use of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras for video surveillance in the private and public sphere. The new CCTV regulation requires data controllers to apply, if possible, notice and consent provisions to CCTV-related data processing. It also requires that a conspicuous sign be included for the purpose of informing the data subject of the name and domicile of the data controller, as well as where to exercise the data protection rights. Additionally, CCTV databases must be registered and the personal data collected shall not be used for any purpose incompatible with that which gives rise to their collection. It is important to note that some CCTV processing is exempted from consent, such as public government databases and processing data within private property for private purposes.These regulations were enacted in an effort to round out and complete Argentina’s privacy legal framework.