Buenos AiresThe Law on Foundations and Starting Points for the Freedom of Argentines, popularly known as the Omnibus Law due to its size, was approved on Friday in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies. With 144 votes in favour, 109 against, and no abstentions, the overall law drawn up by President Javier Miley takes a first big step in Parliament, which still must vote on it in a special session – that is, make amendments – as of Tuesday. Next. The text will then be sent to the Senate for full approval and entry into force. The longest legislative session in the history of Argentine democracy – 29 hours spread over three days – was accompanied by street demonstrations and police repression.
“History will honorably remember all those who understood the historical context and chose to end class privileges and the corporate republic, for the benefit of the people, who had suffered poverty and hunger for years at the hands of the political class,” the press release stated. From the president's office minutes after the news was published on the social network The only good path for our country is the path of freedom, work and order.
Miley needed 129 favorable votes in parliament to get first approval for the law. Because he belongs to a clear minority – his coalition, La Libertate Avanza, has only 38 deputies – the president has the support of 37 deputies from the PRO party – the traditional right of former President Mauricio Macri – and the so-called “Opposition Dialogue”. “, made up of the radical center-right Civic Union (UCR), regional parties, and Peronists who had left the ranks of the Union for the Fatherland. But after weeks of negotiations, Miley was forced to abandon several points in the initial text. In fact, he reduced the number of articles of the proposal The original 644 articles were almost halved, but there were still controversial points that would be discussed in a special vote, article by article.
One of the most controversial points is the attribution of extraordinary powers to the president. Miley wants the Legislature to grant him emergency powers until December 31 of this year, which can be extended for another year. The original proposal covered the full mandate, but had to be scaled back to add support.
The privatization of public companies remains a stumbling block in the government's shoes. Miley wants to sell them all, but she doesn't have the support to do so. As a result, it had to reduce the list from 41 to 26 companies. Among other things, he took out the oil company YPF and agreed not to privatize all of them 100%, but to make them mixed. There is also no agreement on the powers of the executive authority to assume foreign debt without the approval of the legislative authority. The president wants to bypass congressional approval so he can borrow from the International Monetary Fund, for example.
There are also contradictions regarding the security protocol promoted by Minister Patricia Bullrich, which has already been interrupted at a controversial point such as the ban on gatherings of more than three people on public roads. Regarding fiscal reform, Miley will have to negotiate directly with provincial governors, who disagree with the proposal calling for a halt to transferring part of the tax on foreign currency operations to public works in the interior of the country. Special votes and amendments on these controversial points will begin Tuesday afternoon in the House of Representatives.
With temperatures exceeding 30 degrees, the past few nights witnessed tension between demonstrators and police officers in front of Congress. Minister Bullrich's new security law states that it is illegal to block a public road for a demonstration, and the “anti-sit-in protocol” was effectively implemented to disperse people who gathered against the comprehensive law. Huge amounts of cash were deployed on motorcycles and tear gas and rubber bullets were fired at the demonstrators – there were representatives of social movements, pensioners and unions – and journalists. Barriers were built with containers and clashes took place with the police, which Bullrich congratulated in a tweet, as he warned that all protesters who burned public property, threw stones or attacked the police: “Whoever does this, pays a price,” he warned.
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