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Argentina Will Accept 3,000 Syrian Refugees

By: Amanda Blohm - Jul 7, 2016, 1:54 pm
It is still unknown as to when these refugees will be brought into Argentina (Diario Registrado)
Argentina will receive 3,000 Syrian refugees as a result of negotiations with the European Union. (Diario Registrado)

The Argentinean government and the European Union (EU) are negotiating an agreement in order for Argentina to receive around 3,000 Syrian refugees.

The South American country will be the first in the world to help the EU solve the greatest refugee crisis since World War II.

The statement was released during President Mauricio Macri’s official tour through Europe. Talks of Argentina helping the Syrian refugees occurred during a meeting the president had this Monday with the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, in the offices of the European Commission in Brussels.

A source from the European Commission quoted by Clarín explained that “Argentina’s willingness to help seems clear and any help is welcome.”

“Argentina, the Commission, and the European External Action Service will strengthen their cooperation in order to provide the best support to Middle Eastern refugees, especially those from Syria,” the agreement stated.

“Argentina is willing to receive new refugees from conflict zones, taking into consideration local capacity, need for effective integration for the refugees, and the pertinent security measures. The European Commission is prepared to offer technical support and to consider joint projects in this area,” added the agreement.

In June, Susana Malcorr, Argentina’s Foreign Minister, claimed that her country was waiting for the United States and the European Union to decide whether they would be helping out financially, because “it would help with receiving the refugees”. In May, Malcorra visited a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon.

Syrian refugees have already arrived in Argentina by means of Program Syria, which was created under former president Cristina Kirchner’s government.

Macri also mentioned Argentina’s willingness to receive refugees in a letter he sent to Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, in which he tried to generate support for Malcorra’s current candidacy for the UN’s top job. Macri also discussed the issue with US President Barack Obama.

Source: Clarín

Forget Equality: Economic Freedom Is the Key to Defeating Poverty

By: Vanesa Vallejo - Jul 7, 2016, 11:31 am
The Fraser Institute, understanding the importance of economic liberties for investment and for a society's welfare, publishes since 1996 the "Economic Liberty Index". (Static)

EspañolIt's not a coincidence that the countries with the most economic freedom are more prosperous than those where economic freedom isn't respected and investors can't defend their own interests. Investment and wealth creation are fundamental for a society's welfare. Economic freedom is a deciding factor when doing business. That is why the places with more economic freedom offer a better quality of life to their citizens. Economic freedom is fundamental to boost investment and accelerate growth in a country. Legal uncertainty; high taxes; lack of property rights for the poor; excessive regulations in labor and financial markets; these are obstacles for anyone looking to improve his quality of life since they weaken investors' confidence, raising unemployment and poverty. Read More: Can America Become the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave again? Read More: Desiderata for Cuba: Embrace Freedom and Don't Stand with Oppressors Still, there seems to be a widespread ignorance of the importance of economic freedom.  In Colombia, like in many other countries, people ask for more regulations on a daily basis. For instance, journalists and their readers celebrate corporate tax hikes because they wrongly assume that taking taking from the rich in order to give handouts to the poor is necessarily a good thing. They don't realize that they are just slaying the goose that laid the golden eggs. Very often, we also see powerful interest groups backed by well-meaning but ultimately naive people who protest so that the government raises tariffs in order to protect the "national economy." Additionally, thousands of Colombians ask for greater subsidies, more state-owned companies, and a bigger state, all under the false assumption that these measures improve the people's economic situation. They ignore that these are the causes of our relative poverty. The Fraser Institute, understanding the importance of economic freedom for investment and a society's welfare, has been publishing the "Index of Economic Freedom" since 1996 for 157 countries. This indicator is built using five variables described in the following table: Areas and components of the Economic Liberty Index made by the Fraser Institute Each of the five elements are classified in a scale from one to ten, obtaining a global score for every country. Colombia, according to the 2015 Annual Fraser Institute Report, is ranked 106, which is rather worrying. The country came in 105th place in terms of the size of its state; it ranked 127th in terms of its legal system and respect for property rights, 88th in sound money, 76th in international trade freedom, and 74th in regulation. The first two areas — size of the state and legal system / property rights — are particularly worrying for Colombia. Our excessively large state is a result of excessive taxes, public spending and subsidies. We also have too many state-owned companies. Colombia's 127th place in the "Legal system and Property Rights" category reflects a weak institutional framework that can't guarantee an individual's physical safety nor the legal security of his investments. Our regulatory excesses, instead of generating confidence for investment, has made our institutions unreliable. The performance of other countries in the region in terms of economic freedom are shown in the following graph, in which Venezuela takes the last place: This next graph shows that the income of the poorest 10% is much higher in countries with greater economic freedom than in countries that are not free economically. Income for the poorest 10% vs. economic freedom Source: World Economic Freedom Index, 2015 Report. Fraser Institute. The following graph shows that countries with the highest economic freedom also have the highest GDP per capita. Economic Freedom vs. Income per capita Source: World Economic Freedom Index, 2015 Report. Fraser Institute. It's rather sad that, although economic freedom is fundamental to economic growth and poverty reduction, many insist on blocking any attempt at wealth creation, believing the key is raising taxes and leaving companies in a chokehold. Those who fight to increase the size of the state, to create ever more regulations and to raise tariffs mostly likely want to end up like Venezuela or the Republic of Congo, countries that are trapped in poverty. It's surprising that, despite all the available evidence, Latin Americans still want more regulation. Instead of demanding the measures which have led so many countries to misery, we should recognize the success of market-oriented economies and the failure of those with strong government planning. Raises in subsidies, minimum wages, greater labor regulation, barriers to foreign trade, more public spending, and more state owned companies are the things we ask for every year. Unfortunately, they lead to worse life conditions for everybody. The true key to diminishing poverty and increasing welfare is implementing economic freedom. The struggle against economic liberty is a fight against everything that works according to the evidence. It is a struggle that condemns us to misery.

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