In Argentina the government will lay off 5,000 civil servants
Javier Milei's government sent MPs this Friday (19) a proposal to amend the socalled “Omnibus Law”, a mega law with 664 articles that deals with various issues including the privatization of companies and an article that gives superpowers to the president of Argentina until the end of his term in December 2027.
It is the Milei government's first practical withdrawal, ten days after speaker Manuel Adorni declared that “there are no negotiations” in other words, that he would not accept any changes to the content of the project. The measure comes amid difficulties in passing the text in Congress.
“There are no negotiations, which does not mean that we are not open to dialogue, that we do not accept proposals and that we do not sit down to talk to everyone who, with good intentions, effectively supports and understands the change in Argentina. “is necessary and that things cannot continue like this,” said Adorni on January 9th in the Casa Rosada.
According to the newspaper La Nación, which spoke to MPs who received the proposed changes, the Milei government submitted changes to 100 articles. Not all MPs have received the new proposals, but a group of MPs who are ready to vote for the “omnibus law” if some points are changed. The term “omnibus” refers to bills that amend multiple related or interconnected issues. “Omnibus” comes from Latin and means “for everyone”.
There are several indentations compared to the source text. These include the following:
- First, Milei called for “superpowers” (socalled delegated faculties). for two years, with the possibility of an extension for a further two years. Now he asks for a deadline valid for one year, with the possibility of extension for another year.
- The omnibus law also contained an article stating this Privatization of the state oil company YPF. Now YPF has been removed from the list of companies to be privatized.
- In the original text: any Meetings with more than three people in public spaces were now considered a demonstration. This part is too outside the project.
- The new proposals include: Financing guarantee for cultural authorities, like Incaa (for cinema), one to promote music and libraries. The only restriction is that the budget for the operation of the facility itself cannot exceed 20% of the total budget.
The text sent to MPs also modifies aspects related to issues such as the sale of assets from a corporate fund corresponding to the Brazilian INSS, changes in the “retenciones” policy (restrictions and taxes affecting exports) and other tax changes.
There were also setbacks when it came to changes in the political system: Milei wanted to change the electoral assemblies that all parties in Argentina are obliged to hold. It has now been agreed that this will be the subject of a proposal from MP Maria Eugenia Vidal, an ally of former President Maurício Macri and once governor of the province of Buenos Aires.
1 of 1 Javier Milei on January 17, 2024 Photo: Denis Balibouse/Portal Javier Milei on January 17, 2024 Photo: Denis Balibouse/Portal
In the first days of the administration, Milei sent two major projects to Congress.
- The “Omnibus Law” project is being negotiated.
- The text that became known as the “Decree.”
This second text is a decree of necessity and urgency, a kind of interim measure that has already come into force. However, the “decree” already faced a challenge: the judges provisionally revoked the points related to labor reform because they considered that it should not have been approved in an emergency decree. The matter is still being discussed by the court.