Buenos Aires Hours | What We Learned This Week: September 25 – October 2

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THE WEEK IN CORONAVIRUS

Argentina reached 115,225 deaths yesterday and 5,258,466 confirmed cases of contagion with the coronavirus at press time against 114,828 deaths and 5,248,847 cases the previous Friday. Health Minister Carla Vizzotti had to be rushed to Otamendi Hospital in Mar del Plata on Tuesday with acute appendicitis, but she was back to give press conferences on Friday. City Hall boasted that no citizen of the nation’s capital had died from Covid-19 since the previous week despite three non-residents having died in local hospitals. On Thursday, it was revealed that the government had been forced to return more than 1.3 million second doses of the Sputnik V vaccine due to labeling irregularities. Yesterday, the first day of the month, several new easing of restrictions in various districts were announced, including the return of nightlife to the province of Buenos Aires, while the government approved the use of the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm for them. children aged three to 11.

POVERTY INDICATORS

Two in five Argentines, or some 18.5 million people, remain below the poverty line despite the percentage falling to 40.6% in the first half of this year, from 42% in the second half of 2020, reported Thursday. INDEC national statistics office. The percentage remains disappointing, given the end of the quarantine and the economic rebound this year. Even more worrying was the rise in misery against a backdrop of poverty that fell slightly from 10.5 to 10.7 percent or 4.8 million people. While many jobs have been clawed back this year, many of these people remain below the poverty line due to inflation. On Tuesday, INDEC posted the average salary for the second quarter of the year at 26,021 pesos, but more than 70 percent of Argentines were earning below that level.

BEEF BOATS TO CHINA

From Monday, the government will ease its meat export cap in favor of selling “old beef” to China, new Agriculture Minister Julián Domínguez said at a meeting with agricultural leaders from Mesa de Enlace and several governors. The move will free 89 percent of beef sales abroad while other exports will remain banned until at least the end of October with a view to normalizing them by December. Previously, only the Hilton quota to the European Union and the Israeli kosher market had been exempted from what had started as a total ban on beef exports in mid-May, relaxed a month later to allow half of sales. previous abroad. Beef prices and related matters should be monitored every two months.

WAKE-UP

The parallel “blue” dollar closed the week at the previous Friday’s level of 186 pesos, well ahead of the official exchange rate, which rose from 103.75 to 104.30 pesos, as quoted by Banco Nación, or 172, 10 pesos with the 65% surcharge for authorized purchases. The CCL (contado con liquidation) and MPE (mercado electronic de pagos) parallel but legal exchange rates have increased from 173.51 to 176.23 pesos and 173.42 to 176.14 pesos respectively, although these tightly regulated pesos are in turn starting to develop their own parallel rates (194 pesos in the case of the CCL). The central bank must have lost nearly a billion ($ 950 million) over the past month to keep the exchange rate low. Country risk continued to rise to close at 1,612 points yesterday against 1,598 points the previous Friday.

A ONE WAY SPIRIT

President Alberto Fernández took part on Tuesday in a high-level panel convened by the United Nations and the International Labor Organization on job creation and social protection with a main theme almost identical to previous recent international caucuses on climate change and the pandemic, as well as the latest UN General Assembly last month – namely, pushing for debt terms to be relaxed. A “new international financial architecture” was necessary to face “the triple crisis of pandemic, climate change and debt, which is hitting hard middle-income countries like Argentina”, he insisted, also advocating debt swaps for environmental commitments and global taxation to favor emerging countries. markets since G20 initiatives have so far been “insufficient”.

CRISTINA BLASTS MACRI (PART 592)

Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on Tuesday accused the media of “a long history of cover-up … to this day” of the Macri family, also accusing the ex-president of political persecution which has spread until the filing of a “ridiculous” complaint against her. late mother Ofelia Wilhelm in 2016 and ruining the health of her daughter Florencia. She revised the second half of her 2016 reaction “It’s not my mom, it’s your dad and you too” to read “your dad, you and your mom too” based on a survey $ 25 million Liechtenstein trust awarded. to Gianfranco Macri (brother of the ex-president) showing that in reality he belonged to Alicia Blanco Villegas, the mother of the two.

THE VIOLENCE OF ROSARIO

New Security Minister Aníbal Fernández announced on Tuesday that 575 border guards would be sent to Rosario over the next two or three weeks to deal with multiple drug-related crimes, while proclaiming the creation of a new flying squad Unidad 7 of 1000 people. within the border guards to be stationed in the province of Santa Fe as a more permanent solution. At the beginning of last month, her predecessor Sabina Frederic had ruled out sending security agents to the province, justifying her decision by saying that they were “lean on the ground” and that there were many more killings in the region. the federal capital. Thursday Máximo Ariel ‘GuilléCantero, leader of the notorious drug trafficking gang Los Monos, has been convicted in Rosario on a number of counts totaling 84 years in prison. Half a dozen other gang members were also sentenced to prison terms.

THIS WEEK IN CORRUPTION…

Romina Picolotti, former secretary of the environment between 2007 and 2008, was sentenced Monday to a three-year suspended prison sentence for fraud, as well as the restitution of 6,941,170 pesos (the total of badly spent public funds calculated by the court) to the current Ministry of the Environment. Picolotti heard the trial in Miami, where she now lives and works, and can escape jail if she shows up every month at the Argentine consulate there. Before hearing the verdict, she pleaded not guilty, attributing the charges against her to political persecution. Picolotti was convicted of using public funds for personal expenses ranging from restaurant bills, perfume and flowers to private charter flights, although a large portion of the expenses (including a topless bar bill) were performed by members of her family rather than by the ex-official herself. Prosecutor Diego Luciani had requested a 42-month prison sentence which should not be suspended.

FORD CONVICTIONS CONFIRMED

The Federal Court of Cassation on Thursday upheld the convictions of two former Ford executives for kidnapping and torturing 24 workers during the 1976-83 dictatorship and for organizing a clandestine detention center within the General automobile factory. Pacheco. Pedro Müller, 90, and Héctor Francisco Jesús Sibilla, 95, had already been sentenced by the Oral Federal Tribunal (TOF) 1 of the San Martín court in 2018 to respectively 10 and 12 years in prison. The latter, a former army officer, was given a harsher sentence for being responsible for the security of the car factory. Judge Alejandro Slokar noted that Ford Argentina wanted to work with the military regime in order to crush union activity. It is estimated that 30 of the cases of crimes against humanity involve businessmen.

MENDOZA EARTHQUAKE

Mendoza was struck last Wednesday by an earthquake measuring 5.2 degrees on the Richter scale, but no one was injured and no property damage was reported. The epicenter was about 70 kilometers from the provincial capital. There were two tremors of similar intensity last June.

DJ SLAIN IN MARDEL

The Atlantic seaside resort of Mar del Plata expressed outrage during the week over the murder last weekend of famous disc jockey Leandro ‘Lele’ Gatti by motorcycle thieves.

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