After three days of debate and two severely repressed protests in front of Congress, bringing back memories of other times in Argentina, the Chamber of Deputies generally approved the Omnibus Law project with which the far-right Government wants to reduce the State to its minimum. expression. Next Tuesday, numerous pending articles of the regulations will be discussed “in particular.” President Javier Milei, who seeks to obtain exceptional powers from this initiative, thus scored his first victory in almost two months of management. Through a statement he “celebrated” the behavior of “the honorable deputies” and “thanked” the “collaboration” of the center-right opposition and other sectors that, “despite our differences, have contributed to the law’s advancement.” Hours before, Milei had ordered them in harsh terms to be on the right side in the dispute he is undertaking against “collectivism“. Capitalist anarcho stated that “history will remember with honor to all those who understood the historical context and chose to end the privileges of caste and the corporate republic, in favor of the people, who have been impoverished and starved for years by the political class.”
“This Government is a coalition of those who have already destroyed and handed over Argentina at other times. The damage is done”, recognized the social leader Juan Grabois. “A responsible opposition is still important. Even if they have not been frontal with this quasi-tyrant, at least they are committed to reducing the damage,” he said, ahead of the upcoming parliamentary debates.
The so-called “Bases Law” included in its original version 664 articles that represent drastic changes in the economic, political and social life of Argentines. The latest draft reduced the articles by 224, the result of numerous concessions by the forces in power. Among them is the “fiscal chapter”, which brought harm to the provinces. However, Peronism and the left-wing parties, which have rejected the proposal comprehensively, assure that its matrix has not been modified.
Milei anxiously awaited the result of the vote. Under the law, she will have extraordinary powers to govern for one year, invoking a financial, tariff, energy, fiscal and administrative emergency situation. At the same time, The Executive may take on debt in foreign currency without going through Parliament. That obstacle had been imposed in 2019 after magnate Mauricio Macri received a loan of $44 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was largely used to finance capital flight. Argentina renegotiated that agreement during the administration of Alberto Fernández and, again, the current authorities.
Privatizations and penalties
The “Bases Law” declares numerous state companies and companies “subject to privatization.” The extreme right agreed to eliminate several key articles that modified the Penal Code. However, several of those referring to the organization of public demonstrations remain, including the penalties of one to three years for those who block roads or occupy urban space without official permission. TThose who call to attend a mobilization against the Government will also be sanctioned. The promoters will be held responsible for any damage to public property allegedly caused by those occupying the public space.
The Executive’s initiative bluntly cuts state funding for cultural activities. The National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (Incaa), the National Fund for the Arts (FNA) and the National Institute of Music (INA), among other organizations, will be affected. At the same time, the National Theater Institute (INT) is repealed. The “Bases Law” is also regressive in environmental matters, by unprotecting forests and glaciers.
Along with the debates, demonstrations took place in the vicinity of the national legislature to reject the Milei mega project, which were repressed with rubber bullets, water cannon trucks and hundreds of uniformed officers. The participants assured that scenes of this nature had not been seen since the end of the military dictatorship (1976-83). Several injuries and arrests were reported.
Milei has another master project subject to parliamentary and judicial endorsement: the Decree of Necessity and Urgency (DNU), which has been rejected on the streets by the labor movement and social organizations. The measures have been taken in the midst of a strong inflationary context as a result of a 118% devaluation of the national currency, which especially affects 45% of poor Argentines.