President Mauricio Macri said Thursday that Congress should launch a debate on broader legalisation of abortion, though he said he opposes it.
Macri’s 40-minute speech to Congress — his third State of the Nation address since coming to office — featured few major policy announcements.
A lawmaker for Macri’s Cambiemos coalition Luis Naidenoff described the speech as “careful” but celebrated that the president “did not look toward the past” but rather “the future”.
“The president delivered a speech for the medium and long term. He also made a strong reassessment of the value of Congress based on the plans (to legislate) that we have this year”, Naidenoff told FM Millennium.
Macri announced just two bills his government will send to Congress: a Labour Inclusion Law and legislation to extend paternity leave which is currently only two days.
He called on lawmakers to prioritise an existing Productive Financing bill, which looks likely to pass the Lower House, and modifications to the Criminal Procedures Code and Criminal Code.
He also called for a new Telecommunications Law to incorporate new technologies into the existing system of regulations. Other requests included a stronger approach to drug-trafficking and legislation to make national school test results publicly available.
The speech was remarkably less provocative than in previous years. Macri famously spent much of his first State of the Nation address in 2016 attacking the legacy of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Fernández de Kirchner was recently elected a Senator but she boycotted yesterday’s presentation, choosing instead to travel to her hometown in the south.