Judge Loretta Preska, of New York, issued a ruling that could mean that Argentina will have to pay $16 billion for litigation. The lack of dollars led the Government to give a benefit to soybean exporters. And inflation in the City of Buenos Aires could anticipate an increase at the country level. In addition, Paraguay protests ten barges detained in Argentina.
What has happened in Argentina in recent days is no small thing. The City of Buenos Aires reported that August inflation in that district was 10.8%, which could anticipate a similar figure at the national level when that data is released, on Wednesday, September 13.
In 2012, Argentina nationalized YPF, the oil and energy company that had been privatized in 1999. But the way in which that operation was carried out led to litigation in the United States that this Friday led to the judge in the case, Loretta Preska, indicated that the South American country would have to pay around $16 billion to its plaintiffs.
In a context of lack of foreign currency, a new edition of the “soybean dollar” seeks to promote the sale abroad of this oilseed and its derivatives, with the Government’s expectation that some 4,000 million dollars will enter.
On Sunday there are elections in Santa Fe, precisely one of the provinces in which an important part of the country’s agricultural exploitation is concentrated. The dispute will be settled between candidates representing the national ruling party and the opposition coalition, Together for Change.
Paraguay once again protested the tolls that Argentina charges for ships that navigate the Paraguay-Parana waterway. This time it was for ten barges detained in Argentina.
And in the context of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the military coup in Chile, the Argentine Government decided to withdraw three decorations that this country had given to Augusto Pinochet.
Meanwhile, presidential candidate Javier Milei and his vice candidate, Victoria Villarruel, motivated protests for different reasons.
Unfavorable ruling for Argentina due to nationalization of YPF
In a context of profound lack of dollars, this Friday Judge Loretta Preska, of New York, issued an adverse ruling for Argentina in a case linked to the nationalization, in 2012, of the oil and energy company YPF (which had been born as a company state in 1922 and had been privatized in 1999, when it was sold to the Spanish company Repsol).
The ruling has nothing to do with determining responsibilities, something that has already been resolved, but rather how much Argentina must pay for what was not done correctly – according to the judge – in the nationalization of YPF, by not having made an offer to a group of shareholders. .
The calculation accepted by the judge would bring the amount to be paid by Argentina to around 16 billion dollars, a figure that is well above the 5 billion that the country intended to pay. The Argentine Government said that they will appeal Preska’s ruling.
The Argentine government will immediately appeal Judge Loretta Preska’s ruling. President @alferdez analyzed the issue with the Treasury Attorney General’s Office. We will continue to defend energy sovereignty and our state company YPF against vulture funds.
— Gabriela Cerruti (@gabicerru) September 8, 2023
Very high inflation in the Argentine capital
A week before the national inflation figure for the month of August is known, which is expected to be two figures, the data from the City of Buenos Aires was known. It was 10.8% monthly, according to the information released by the Directorate of Statistics and Censuses of the Argentine Capital, and 127.3% since August 2022. The items that increased the most were housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, food and non-alcoholic beverages.
Inflation in August 2023 was the highest monthly since the city began to publish its figures in 2011. In July 2023 it had been 7.3% in that district, while the national figure had been lower, at 6.3%. ,3%. Next Wednesday, September 13, the national figure for August will be known and it will be seen whether or not it is higher than that of the capital.
In search of dollars, the Government launches a new edition of the ‘soy dollar’
Grains and their derivatives are Argentina’s main export products. Among them, a key one is soybeans, the country’s main foreign currency generator. The income from the sale of this oilseed abroad is essential for the country to have the foreign currency that its economy needs to function (the Central Bank today has negative net foreign exchange reserves).
But exporters stop operations due to the obligation to sell the dollars they generate at the official exchange rate, which is the lowest in the market: it is worth half as much as the other types of dollars traded in Argentina. Therefore, as a way to encourage exports, the Government has on several occasions launched a program that benefits soybean exporters with a more favorable exchange rate.
The program is known as ‘soy dollar’, and this week its fourth edition was presented, which will be in effect until the end of September. On previous occasions it had offered a special exchange rate, but this time it will allow exporters to exchange a quarter of their sales at one of the free exchange rates. The Government expects that this edition of the soy dollar will generate an income of 4,000 million dollars.
Elections in Santa Fe
This Sunday elections will be held in the province of Santa Fe, in the center of the country, for governor, vice-governor, and legislative positions, as well as mayors, among which is the city of Rosario, the third city with the most inhabitants of Argentina, affected for some years by violence associated with drug trafficking.
The main candidates for the governorship of Santa Fe are Maximiliano Pullaro, from Together for Change (the main opposition party at the national level), who obtained the best result in the August primaries, and the Peronist Marcelo Lewandowski, for the ruling party. national.
The dispute for the mayor of Rosario will focus on two candidates: Pablo Javkin, current president of the city and belonging to a center provincial coalition, and Juan Monteverde, from Juntos Avancemos, aligned with the national ruling party.
The province of Santa Fe is the third most populated district in the country and part of the heart of national agricultural production; According to the Rosario Stock Exchange, in 2021 that province represented 10.3% of the Argentine economy.
Paraguay protest over toll charges on the waterway
In a statement published on Thursday, the Paraguayan Foreign Ministry said it had summoned Argentina’s ambassador to that country to protest the detention of a convoy of ten barges with fuel on the Paraguay-Parana waterway, the waterway that runs through Argentina and which Paraguay (which has no sea coast) uses to trade goods across the oceans.
According to the statement, the barges that were going to sail to Paraguay were detained by the Argentine Naval Prefecture. The situation, according to the note, is linked to the collection of tolls by Argentina, which, according to Paraguay, violates international agreements.
Sources on the Argentine side informed France 24 en Espanol that the justice system seized nearly $1,500 from a barge belonging to a private company, part of the convoy of ten barges. Official sources indicated that “for the moment the company refuses to pay, simply giving the money as collateral and to do so it has to process the opening of a bank account, which is a procedure to be carried out between the debtor and the court.” The sources also indicated that the total demand exceeded $27,000, involving several barges.
This is not the first time that Paraguay has complained about Argentina’s management of the waterway. At the beginning of July, at the last meeting of Mercosur leaders, Paraguay had already expressed its rejection of Argentina’s collection of tolls for vessels that circulate through the Parana.
The Argentine Government withdrew decorations from Pinochet
In the context of the 50th anniversary of the military coup in Chile, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez decided to strip three decorations from Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who died in 2006, and his heirs. He did so through a decree published on Wednesday, September 6, by which he withdrew the Order of May of Military Merit and the Order of May of Merit and the insignia of the Collar of the Order of the Liberator San Martin.
Pinochet received the May Order of Military Merit in 1975, during the Government of Isabel Peron; The Order of the Liberator San Martin was awarded in 1978 by the de facto president Jorge Rafael Videla; and the Order of May of Merit in 1993, during the presidency of Carlos Menem.
After reviewing the reasons for the decision, the decree states that Pinochet “is not deserving of the gratitude of the Argentine Nation since, as has been said, his actions offend the values and guiding principles of our heroes, being incompatible with the values that represent the ‘Order of May’ and the ‘Order of the Liberator San Martin'”.
Controversial event in the Legislature of the City of Buenos Aires
On Monday, an event convened by the Center for Legal Studies on Terrorism and its Victims (Celtyv), an NGO headed by the candidate for vice president of La Libertad Avanza (Javier Milei’s party), Victoria Villarruel, was held in the Legislature of the City of Buenos Aires.
The call was titled ‘Tribute to the victims of terrorism’, and was dedicated to people who had died at the hands of guerrilla groups that operated in the country in the 1970s, before and during the 1976 coup d’etat.
The event caused controversy because human rights organizations and left-wing parties, who went to demonstrate outside the Legislature, pointing out that the event sought to open a way for denialist speeches, which reject the idea that between 1976 and 1983 there was terrorism in Argentina. of State, or that try to equate the actions of the guerrillas with that of the military junta, in what is known as the theory of the two demons.
Mass in defense of the Pope
In an unusual act, on September 5, priests who work in popular neighborhoods called a meeting to defend Pope Francis, in response to comments in which the candidate Javier Milei had said that the Argentine pontiff is “the representative of the evil on Earth” and a “Jesuit who promotes communism”, in statements from a few years ago, which came to light again in recent weeks. At Tuesday’s event, the priests defended the idea of social justice (questioned by Milei) and the role of the State in the economy.
Source: France 24