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ARGENTINA | 31-08-2020 10:04

Fernández to reboot government's agenda with new announcements

President seeks to push agenda beyond the immediate challenges of virus pandemic, with government planning series of announcements related to the economy, debt talks and security.

After more than 160 days of the coronavirus pandemic in Argentina, President Alberto Fernández will seek to push his government’s agenda beyond the virus crisis this week, planning a series of announcements related to debt, security and the economy.

Official sources said that the first item on the agenda will be the government’s formal closing of its agreement with creditors seeking to restructure more than US$65 billion in foreign debt. 

The deadline for the deal closed last Friday and Casa Rosada officials speculated over the weekend to local outlets that they were confident over a positive outcome, with some suggesting adherence to the debt swap proposal may run as high as 90 percent. 

Details are expected either today or tomorrow, with President Fernández set to lead an event tomorrow at the Casa Rosada’s Bicentennial Museum, starting at 4pm.

The Peronist leader will be accompanied by Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero, Economy Minister Martín Guzmán and a host of Cabinet officials and provincial governors, some in person and some via videoconference.

Noticias Argentinas reported Monday that Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner may also attend. Though the former head of state attended a press conference on the debt offer at the Olivos presidential residence on April 16, she has not participated at an event at the Casa Rosada since December 10, sources told the news agency. 

Fernández is also expected to explore a host of measures this week dedicated to improving Argentina’s post-pandemic economic outlook, though it remains unclear if new steps will be unveiled this week. Around 60 economic measures are under discussion, according to sources, with most dedicated to kickstarting and reactivating the economy.

On Wednesday, the president is due to host an online event with Miguel Acevedo, the head of the Argentine Industrial Union (UIA in its Spanish acronym), to mark Día de la Industria (“Industry Day”).

Finally, on Friday, Fernández is expected to unveil a new “security plan” for Great Buenos Aires, with new funds earmarked for provincial and mayoral authorities in order to tackle crime and insecurity. 

The president will announce "a recruitment programme for 10,000 new police officers," the "construction of prison units," the purchase of "2,000 new patrol cars," and the" renovation of 100 police stations," among other initiatives. 

Officials say the announcement – the location of which has not yet been confirmed – will form part of a comprehensive plan to tackle criminality.

The move to shift the narrative began this week, with the successful launch of Saocom1B, a weather satellite equipped with advanced radar imaging that can observe weather through cloud cover any time of day or night.

– TIMES/NA/

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