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Argentina to Bet Big on Public Works to Accelerate Economic Recovery

By: Raquel García - @venturaG79 - Jan 4, 2017, 6:01 am
Argentina to Bet Big on Public Works to Accelerate Economic Recovery
“Public works is going to explode this year,” said Minister of Interior Rogelio Frigerio. (Cronista)

EspañolOfficials in Argentina said they plan to increase the development of public works during the first quarter of 2017 in hopes of boosting the economy and the rate of growth in the construction sector, one of the hardest hit by the recession.

“Housing, water, sewage, irrigation, flood defense … Public works are going to explode this year,” Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio told La Nación.

President Mauricio Macri’s administration is reportedly allocating AR $15,766 million (US $978,427,520) to such projects throughout the year, 46 percent more than what was earmarked in 2016.

Undersecretary of Housing Iván Kerr said the curve of execution of these projects last year went from “less to more,” but that in 2017 the idea is to take a more linear approach.

“Once a project is in progress,” he said, “we must keep the flow of funds permanent so it does not stop.”

In the first quarter, officials estimated that 5,000 homes will break ground, while another 20,000 that will be improved or completed.

According to official figures, the new projects will require the creation of 85,000 construction jobs, which severely suffered from unemployment in 2016.

The hope is also that the projects will increase financing for housing through the Procrear plan, a state mortgage loan program that created 3,000 houses last year and which should create another 1,500 by March 2017.

Macri’s administration is also reprortedly looking to invest in environmental resources, earmarking AR $9 billion (US $ 558,180,000) for developing sewers, lighting and roads, among other things.

Undersecretary for Habitat and Development Marina Klemensiewicz, said 532 projects will be undertaken in 2017, more than double the 222 from the last year. During the first quarter, 144 initiatives will start nationwide and another 177 will be added in the second.

The Ministry of the Interior will have more than AR $9 billion (US $ 601,097,840) at its disposal. Twenty-five percent of these funds are set to be used in the first quarter, officials said.

 

Minister Frigerio told La Nación that he was satisfied with the problems he had solved, most of which he said had been inherited from previous administrations — such as a debt of AR $10 billion (US $620,200,000), lack of controls, corruption and the slow movement of public works projects.

“Despite that, we ended up executing 90 percent of the budget and 100 percent of the budget credits,” he said.

Source: La Nación.

Raquel García Raquel García

Raquel García is a Venezuelan journalist with over 16 years of experience in digital outlets and radios. She currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Follow her @venturaG79.

Argentina Reiterates Falkland Islands Sovereignty; Seeks Negotiations

By: Raquel García - @venturaG79 - Jan 3, 2017, 4:42 pm
For nearly 200 years, the Falkland Islands have been disputed between Argentina and the UK (

Español On Tuesday the Argentine Foreign Ministry urged the United Kingdom government to move forward with the dialogue that began in 2016 to resume negotiations to find a quick, peaceful, and definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute over the Falkland Islands. The Argentine government's call comes on the 184th anniversary of the "usurpation of the Malvinas Islands...On January 3, 1833, United Kingdom military forces expelled the population and its legitimate Argentine authorities, replacing them with British subjects," said a statement from the Foreign Ministry. Read More: Argentina Repeats Claim of Sovereignty over the Malvinas Read More: Britain and Argentina to Negotiate Oil Exploration Deal in the Falklands "From the very beginning of its existence as an independent nation the Argentine Republic has vigorously asserted its right to exercise its claim to sovereignty over the southern territories and maritime territories inherited from Spain," adds the official document. The Argentine government reaffirmed "once again its inviolable rights of sovereignty" over the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich, and the surrounding maritime zones. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); The Foreign Ministry's statement stresses that the Argentine Constitution enshrines the "permanent objective" of recovering the exercise of sovereignty over those territories and maritime zones, "respecting the way of life of the inhabitants of the Malvinas Islands." The ministry adds that it is official "state policy to respond to the wishes of the Argentine people." Argentina's Latin America neighbors have virtually universally been in agreement, and their support for the claim to sovereignty of Argentina in the Malvinas "has been unanimous". This has been demonstrated, according to the official statement, in the statements of presidential summits of Mercosur, the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and the community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Additionally other multilateral and regional forums have also spoken in favor of resumption of negotiations such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the Group of 77, and China, among others. The Argentine government has never backtracked on its sovereignty claim over the Malvinas, while continuing to seek bilateral negotiations. On December 20, Argentina and the United Kingdom agreed to resume flights from the Falkland Islands to the mainland and work together to identify fallen Argentine soldiers from the 1982 Falklands War, in conjunction with the International Committee of the Red Cross. In her traditional Christmas and New Year's Eve message, British Prime Minister Theresa May urged the people of the Malvinas to seek a "good relationship with Argentina...The best relationship with Argentina is of interest to all," she said. Source: Télam

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