Buenos Aires Hours | What We Learned This Week: June 12-19



Coronavirus deaths have moved closer and closer to the 90,000 mark with a total of 88,247 deaths and 4,242,763 confirmed cases of contagion as of going to press yesterday, up from 84,628 deaths and 4,093,090 case the previous Friday. Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner broke a long silence on the pandemic during the inauguration of La Plata hospital on Monday, calling for integrated health care and calling on the opposition to stop politicizing the issue of the vaccination. Throughout the week, some 3.26 million schoolchildren in 74 of the 135 districts of the province of Buenos Aires began returning to classrooms although the opposition complained that most of the other 61 containing over a million additional schoolchildren were ruled by them, including the large towns of Mar del Plata and Bahia Blanca. Meanwhile, dissident teachers’ unions have gone on strike, demanding that the 150,000 unvaccinated teachers be excused from work. A related controversial issue was the suspension of Aprender’s academic assessment tests.


Argentina was the only South American country to abstain on Tuesday in an Organization of American States (OAS) vote against the arbitrary arrest of more than a dozen opposition leaders in Nicaragua, Bolivia being one of only three countries (including Nicaragua itself) to oppose the motion.


Inflation last month was 3.3%, INDEC’s statistics office said on Wednesday, down from 4.1% in April and 4.8% in March, but is heading towards 50% annual instead of the 2021 budget forecast of 29%. Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Darío Martínez has sought to calm expectations by confirming that there will be no more increases for electricity, gas or fuels (a sector that has grown by 3.5% last month) for the remainder of this year.


The “blue” dollar, the main parallel exchange rate, stormed last week against the norms of a generally calm year, hitting 164 pesos yesterday from 158 pesos the previous Friday. This strong bullish momentum in the dollar took place despite stronger demand for pesos with the approach of the mid-year premium payment. The difference with the official exchange rate was thus 72 per cent, although the latter remained higher at 176.75 pesos if we add the surcharges of 65 per cent for buyers. Among the unofficial but legal alternative exchange rates, the CCL climbed to 165 pesos from 164.75 pesos the previous Friday while the MEP rose from 58.09 pesos the previous Friday to 160.20 pesos yesterday. Country risk increased sharply during the week, from 1,469 points the previous Friday to 1,502 points yesterday, close to the level of two weeks ago.


The Anti-Corruption Office (OA), headed by Félix Crous, denounced former President Mauricio Macri for embezzlement and possible money laundering, as well as “the malicious omission” of nearly half of its holdings in his blind trust when he took office. The case, which falls under federal judge María Servini de Cubría, could potentially see Macri sentenced to up to two years in prison and banned from public office for life.


Prestigious neurologist Facundo Manes on Wednesday met with the Radical National Committee headed by party president Alfredo Cornejo amid growing noise of “Draft Manes” among opposition circles for his mid-term candidacy. Manes left the door open. After the meeting, the leader of the parliamentary group of the lower house Juntos por el Cambio, Mario Negri (Radical-Córdoba), said: “It was a great dialogue”. Governors Gerardo Morales (Jujuy) and Rodolfo Suárez (Mendoza) and Senator Martín Lousteau were present among others.


Last Tuesday, Alberto Fernández skipped the inauguration of a highway in Pergamino for fear of protests from angry farmers, although government sources insisted that other priorities related to public health issues kept him in. the national capital. Rather, the inauguration was headed by Ministers Gabriel Katopodis (Public Works) and Eduardo “Wado” De Pedro (Interior). President Fernández visited Salta last Thursday to mark the bicentenary of the death of the gaucho hero of the War of Independence Martín Miguel de Güemes and there he received the protests of dozens of demonstrators (many without face masks) him saying to “go away”. Radical governor of Jujuy, Gerardo Morales, called protesters “annoyed” the gauchos. “


President Alberto Fernández and former Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, who now chairs the center-right opposition party PRO, held a legal mediation meeting yesterday, but the president is continuing his defamation trial. No details of the confidential meeting held virtually were released to the press. President Fernández has taken Bullrich to court over charges the government attempted to bribe a Pfizer vaccine deal.


Beef tycoon Alberto Samid had an anti-Semitic explosion last Monday, responding to Israeli complaints about the beef export ban with retaliation: “The best thing that can happen to us is that the Jews don’t buy us any more beef. The world does not want to sell them anything, they are disastrous customers. A few weeks ago, Samid (currently under house arrest) took issue with businessmen Marcos Galperín, Gustavo Grobocopatel and Hugo Sigman, all of Jewish origin, saying: “The first two made all their money here. and then went to live in Uruguay, the other rat gives our shots to the gringos. ”While generally against selling meat to Jews, Samid ironically conceded that they might deserve a suckling pig.


The nationwide cold snap, including near-freezing temperatures in that city, saw Cordoba’s first snowfall in 14 years last Tuesday with white blanket descending similarly over parts of San Luis, La Rioja and Tucumán. The last time it snowed in Cordoba, it was also the last time that it snowed in this city for the first time since 1917 – on the Independence Day of July 9, 2007. There were still temperatures. lower in mountainous areas with La Quiaca at the Bolivian border 7.4 degrees. below zero.

clashes at COPA AMERICA

Argentina kicked off Uruguay in the Copa América tournament in Brazil at press time yesterday, following a disappointing 1-1 draw with Chile on Monday. Superstar Lionel Messi gave Argentina the lead with a brilliant free kick in the 33rd minute but Chile equalized with a penalty in the 57th minute (shot by Arturo Vidal and converted to the rebound by Eduardo Vargas).

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