Argentina. Argentina’s economic crisis continued during the year. The economy seemed to shrink by 2-3% – particularly affected were retail and industry – inflation remained high and the value of the currency fell. In November, the Senate approved the government’s budget proposal for 2019, which included large cuts in public spending and aims for a balanced budget. The budget was already approved in October by the House of Representatives after intense debates and public protests. Eliminating the deficit in central government finances was a condition for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to raise the ceiling for government loans and early credit payments, including a $ 50 billion emergency loan payment that was disbursed in June following a dramatic currency fall in the months before. Otherwise, negative growth was predicted at 0.
The opposition pointed out that Argentina’s historic macroeconomic imbalances would not be addressed by the draft budget, but that the country would have to take more loans from the IMF later. A 24-day general strike in connection with the settlement paralyzed Buenos Aires and airports, and protests occurred repeatedly after President Mauricio Macri publicly declared his intention to negotiate with the IMF on May 8 to remove the country from the crisis.
According to Countryaah.com, Buenos Aires is the capital city of Argentina, a country located in South America. Former President Cristina Kirchner (2007–15) was severely employed by corruption scandals during the year, especially the money laundering business that went by the name “la ruta del dinero K”. A lawsuit was initiated Oct. 29 against businessman Lázaro Báez, who is accused of engaging in illegal money laundering on behalf of Cristina Kirchner and her husband and representatives on President Néstor Kirchner’s (2003–07) bill for $ 60 million. She was also affected by the aftermath of the so-called Gloriagate, a bribe during her presidential term that deals with bribery of politicians in her vicinity from construction companies. In late August, house searches were conducted in three of her homes in search of evidence.
On November 17, Defense Secretary Oscar Aguad announced that the wreck after the one-year-old submarine ARA San Juan was found at close to a kilometer deep 50 miles off the coast of Patagonia. He also said that it was probably imploded and that all 44 crew members were killed immediately. An investigation into the cause of the accident was added.
In March, the country was shocked by the disclosure of systematic sexual exploitation of minors in several of the country’s most famous football clubs. Six people were arrested, including a famous football player and a lawyer.
Lenders approve debt write-off agreements
The debt write-off agreement concluded in early August between Argentina and three groups of lenders (see 3 August 2020) is now being approved by the latter. President Alberto Fernández has already approved the deal via decree. The agreement means that the lenders approve a debt write-down of almost 45 percent. From the beginning, the Argentine government wanted the debt to be written down by 61 percent. One percent of lenders have refused to agree to some debt write-offs.
Rapid spread of infection in Argentina
The number of confirmed cases of covid-19 continues to increase in Argentina. Today, more than 10,000 new cases were reported in one day.
Argentina and the IMF begin new negotiations on the crisis loan
Argentina and the IMF begin talks on new terms for the large crisis loan that the crisis-stricken country received in 2018. President Alberto Férnandez announced shortly after taking office that Argentina would not be able to repay the debt as long as the economy does not grow. Since then, the situation has deteriorated further due to the corona pandemic.
Rapid increase of covid-19 in Argentina
The number of cases of covid-19 is still increasing rapidly in Argentina. In one day, 8,713 new cases and 381 deaths are reported in just one day. It is also clear that the disease is now spreading rapidly outside the capital area. According to figures from the American Johns Hopkins University, Argentina has had about 350,000 confirmed cases of covid-19 and 7,366 people have died from the disease.
Argentina’s economic crisis is getting worse
20th of August
The Argentine economy shrank by 13 percent during the first quarter of the year, compared to the same period last year. The situation worsened in April and May, when GDP fell by 26 and 20.5 percent respectively. In June, the situation improved somewhat as GDP fell by just over 12 percent in connection with society starting to reopen. Argentina has been in a recession since 2018. In 2019, GDP fell by 2.5 percent.
Protests against the government’s corona policy
Thousands of opposition supporters are gathering around Argentina to protest President Alberto Férnandez’s decision to extend the restrictions imposed to fight the corona pandemic until August 30. The restrictions apply to the capital Buenos Aires and the surrounding area, which accounts for 90 percent of all cases of covid-19 in Argentina. In the country as a whole, the government has eased the restrictions that were introduced in the spring (see March 2020), despite the large spread of infection. To date, Argentina has more than 300,000 confirmed cases of covid-19, and about 6,000 people are reported to have died from the disease. In the past week, Argentina has had about 5,000 new cases of covid-19 per day. The protesters, who chant “freedom”, are also protesting against plans for a judicial reform, where new federal courts will be set up to address what the government sees as problems with politically motivated sentences.
Settlement with lender ready
Argentina finally manages to reach a settlement with three groups of lenders regarding overdue bond debt of $ 65 billion. The old bonds will be replaced with new ones worth $ 35 billion. On August 16, President Alberto Fernández will approve the agreement by decree, but formal approval from lenders and the US Financial Services Authority (SEC) is expected later in August.