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ARGENTINA | 19-05-2018 09:22

May 14th - 20th: What we learned this week

From the new 'subte' station to the teachers strike and the latest World Cup news.

MENEM TAPS PICHETTO FOR THE PRESIDENCY

Former president Carlos Menem presented his autobiography this week. The 87-year-old Senator for Rioja province has lots of time on his hands given he rarely takes his seat in the Senate, where congressional immunity (and his old age) has kept him out of jail. My Life and My Political History was presented alongside Peronist majority leader in the Senate, Miguel Angel Pichetto.

Menem had words of praise for Pichetto, saying he hoped the Senator for Rio Negro province would one day become president. “Don’t give up, keep going, continue, because you will succeed”, Menem said to Pichetto who described the former Peronist leader as “a great human being”. “He invented it all. When we see politics on television, in magazines, he invented all that”, Pichetto said.

AMCHAM TO CELEBRATE 100 YEARS

The American Chamber of Commerce will celebrate its 100th year in Argentina this week, with special events scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. Included in the slate of speakers and panelists are Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña; Buenos Aires Province Governor María Eugenía Vidal; BA City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta; Production Minister Francisco Cabrera; Treasurer Nicolás Dujovne; AmCham Argent ina Presi - dent Manuel Aguirre and the recently-arrived US Ambassador to Argentina Edward Prado.

NEW ‘SUBTE’ STATION OPENS AT LAW FACULTY

Buenos Aires’ Recoleta neighbourhood got a new subte station this week with the opening of the Law Faculty terminal on the H line. But the opening was a sombre affair. Subte workers held several partial strikes this week after their union confederation sealed a meagre 15-percent pay rise. City Hall is also involved in some nasty litigation, pursuing a law suit against two activists and an anti-demolition group known as “Basta de Demoler” for 25 million pesos, for interrupting its initial plans to open the same station at Plaza Francia, a protected historic area.

TWO-DAY TEACHERS STRIKE

Teachers unions will on Monday lead a twoday strike culminating in a march on Plaza de Mayo on Wednesday. Several teachers unions are still fighting their respective provincial governments for a pay rise adjusted to inflation, which this year is expected to surpass 25 percent. Most unions are asking for at least 15 percent and a trigger clause for additional pay reviews later in the year. Collective wage bargaining is traditionally drawn-out in the education sector, though this year there is particular tension given the growth in inflation and an “educational financing law” that the Macri government decreed in summer, which fractured national-level talks leaving provincial unions to fight it out on their own.

ANTI-ABORTION ACTIVISTS TO MARCH THIS SUNDAY

Twenty-three national lawmakers will march tomorrow (Sunday) alongside anti-abortion activists. The so-called “March for Life” will take place at Plaza de Mayo at 3pm. Anti-abortion activists recently started carrying blue handkerchiefs in response to the pro-abortionist green. A bill to decriminalise abortion continues being debated at committee level in Congress. A vote is expected in winter.

NISMAN’S MOTHER WANTS ‘STATE-CRIME’ RECOGNITION

The mother of Alberto Nisman — the special prosecutor found dead in suspicious circumstances in his apartment in January 2015 — wants her son’s death investigated as a state crime. Sara Garfunkel says Nisman’s death forms part of a “pattern of impunity” in the 1994 AMIA bombing saga. Nisman was leading an investigation into an alleged cover-up of the bombing when he was found dead on January 18, 2015.

CHILE MINISTER LARRAIN’S WORDS OF WARNING

Chile’s Treasury Minister Felipe Larraín said Argentina is an example of what can happen when a country lacks “fiscal responsibility”. “I want to point to the situation our friends in Argentina are experiencing, the fruit of years of irresponsibility in the management of public finances which eventually catch up on you”, Larraín told reporters. “We must take greater care, we must be more vigilant than ever”, he added.

DAIA ACCUSES JOURNALIST OF ANTI-SEMITISM

Argentina’s Jewish political umbrella, the DAIA, accused Crónica television station journalist Santiago Cuneo of anti-Semitism this week. Cuneo had taken aim at President Macri for his planned visit to Israel, describing the Argentine government as a “political associate of international Zionism” and alleging Macri will “hand over the Patagonia” to the Israelis. The DAIA said Cuneo’s statements reflected a “classic type of anti-Semitism that rests on international conspiracy theories”.

WORLD CUP NEWS

World Cup exci tement is growing in Argenti - na. The country’s national football coach Jorge Sampaoli announced the preliminary World Cup squad on Monday, with no major surprises. The final 23-player roster will be announced this Monday at a press conference.

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