Argentina's New Economics Minister Launches Programs
August 13, 1996
In his first policy initiative, Argentina's new Economics Minister, University of Chicago-educated Rogue Fernandez, is taking steps to contain the country's soaring budget deficit and bolster the confidence of international investors.
- His program began with an increase in fuel prices and boosts in taxes, along with cuts in subsidies to exporters and the country's middle class.
- He also plans to sell Argentina's commercial airports, many military installations and nuclear power plants, and crack down on tax evasion.
- The immediate aim is to cut the budget deficit, which came in at an unexpectedly high $2.8 billion for the first half of this year.
Observers say Fernandez didn't have much choice. He was prodded into action by an International Monetary Fund mission which wants to see the country reduce a spending gap that has already forced it to raise some $3 billion on international capital markets since the first of the year.
Source: Jonathan Friedland, "Argentina Slates Austerity Measures to Cut Budget Gap," Wall Street Journal, August 13, 1996.
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