In December, the American consul of a country went across to theRio de la PlatatoUruguayto buy an iron. A few days ago, the President of a company linked to the agricultural sector brought the tires of his car inEurope. In any case it is capricious men. In both, the operation Government approval is required: Argentinablocked imports and the prohibition on anything or anyone. Bookstores, Clocks, supermarkets, dealers, appliance stores, hardware stores, pharmacies and even hospitals are in check. Restrictions or bans are common inArgentinatoday and reach all areas of the economy from the purchase of foreign exchange to the dividends of companies with offices abroad.

The “model” of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, re-elected with more than 54 percent of the vote less than four months, begins to creak. “The cornerstone of his economic policy is the fiscal surplus and it is crumbling” says Raul Ochoa, former Secretary of State for Energy and Advisor to the National Legislators Circle.

Argentina, with growth rates close to 8 percent since 2004, begins to lose steam. The country suffers an actual inflation around 30 percent, there is price control, and the state subsidizes all sectors of the economy, has oil and gas but needs to import energy. Without settling the debt with the Paris Club (about 7 billion dollars) to international credit tap is closed and the Central Bank makes strenuous efforts to maintain reserves. In this scenario the population, and trade unions-to-face with the Government and are left in cold. Also explain these references many desperate measures to Guillermo Moreno, the super powerful first secretary of commerce and “Cristina” Cabinet. Also in this context, that the nationalist fervor that Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has been re-floated.

The intervention of the INDEC (National Institute of Statistics and Computing) to invent numbers is the beginning of a speech by the government based on false data but at some point reality is imposed and the time has come. Miracles are not eternal. “The reflection of Raul Ochoa, continues” How to explain that legislators be increased to 100 percent of salaries, the unions ask for increases of 30 percent and the government insist on publishing the official inflation rate is 9?

Analysts agree thatArgentinais still in serious trouble “because they are structural,” notes Professor Nicholas Gadano Di Tella University and contributor. Those who have, he continues, “can be resolved but we must attack the fundamental solution”. Ochoa points out, “for that you need to make adjustments and sacrifice, team work and coordination is the key but inArgentinathere is no Cabinet, there is a kingdom”.

Failure to take quick decisions and rigorously in the clouds ahead can become more than a passing storm. “The 30 percent of the population lives tied to subsidies and 85 percent of the energy and transport is covered by the State. Subsidies has to go and but the government does not dare to make the decision. What it does is gradually withdrawing and sectarian” insists Ochoa. The Government, in effect, has begun a process idling, for neighborhoods, consumer’s willingness and following other mechanisms, at least, quaint to end subsidies.

Marcelo Pereta, president of the union of pharmacists and biochemists, made a desperate call on Friday: We are not substitutes for drugs or cancer generic alternative for patients with HIV. We ask the Government the immediate income, without limitation, a list of medications that have no possible replacement because its effect is not the same.

The cry for help Pereta reminded depressionArgentinain late 2001 and early 2002.

“It’s not a comparable situation; Argentinafrom 2001 had the stocks of fixed exchange rate with the dollar’s convertibility law, foreign debt and banks in crisis” says Nicholas Gadano. “The blockade of imports is an action, wrong, which aims to curb the outflow of dollars and boost the domestic market, “he observes, but” the danger of this measure is that it can have the opposite effect and to freeze the domestic production because almost everything that occurs today needs some imported components. Rebound, avoid foreign exchange and cause a price increase.”

Ymelda Pool, maid, went to buy dollars to send remittances to their families inPeru. In the exchange office told him he needed authorization from the AFIP (Federal Administration of Public Revenue) Ymelda then went to the AFIP. They told her that his salary of nearly 600 euros was insufficient to authorize a currency exchange pesos. When asked to be notified in writing, the official accepted only gives you a record that had made a query. His “boss” was to the agency to sell dollars. “No problem, you may want to bring. This operation has no limit. Obstacles are to buy not to sell. “That’s the reason whyMoreno(Commerce Secretary) is sitting on foreign exchange, “said Ochoa. In other words, that explains the bolt or “green yard” as Argentines call it, the color of the dollar.

In October, IBM announced that export rice and leather. In return, the government allowed him to continue to import vehicles. The agreement is one more which requires companies. “They call it “compensation” recalls Gadano. “This is bread today and hunger tomorrow” he insists.Argentinaprotectionism lives without rules, says the columnist for The Nation Joaquin Morales Sola. Morenois the voice of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, orders and commands but does not leave anything in writing.  “There is no legal certainty. The rules change constantly and in that scenario is very difficult for someone to come and invest” laments Raul Ochoa.

Data are alarming in a country that until not too long ago was considered the breadbasket of the world and boasted an enviable cattle population. “Cow and beef consumption fell from eighty to fifty kilos a year. Today the Argentine consumes the same amount of chicken than beef”. She recalls. Meanwhile,BrazilandUruguayexported to the world.

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