Contracts of over 6,000 employees in jeopardy as Macri imposes hiring freeze

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The Argentine president has ordered stringent austerity measures till 2020 to comply with the IMF’s conditions

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / Translated by: Tanya Wadhwa/ The Dawn News / July 11, 2018

Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Tuesday stopped the process of appointing public administrative staff till December 2019. This is the latest in a series of neoliberal policy measures that have been virulently opposed by people in the country.   

Through a decree published on Tuesday in the Official Bulletin of Argentina, it was announced that Mauricio Macri will freeze personnel intake to the state’s payroll until December 31, 2019, when the president finishes his term, which means the contacts of some 6,000 public employees will not be renewed.

In accordance with the governmental provision, the implementations of technical assistance agreements, as well as the delivery of bonuses or awards, is prohibited. It also applies expenditure cuts in transportation and travel allowances, and further considers a 30% lowering of travel allowances, overseas trip expenses, official cars and business class tickets.

“The quality of public management depends on the fulfillment of the economic principle, i.e. the working of public administration seeks the rational utilization of public resources”, reads the decree.

With this provision, Macri’s administration seeks a reduction of some 25,000 million dollars in expenditure in an attempt to comply with the 50 billion dollar aid deal reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Argentine government promised to reduce fiscal deficit from 3.2% to 2.7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018 and to 1.3% by next year.

The president issued this decree a day after admitting that Argentina lives an economic and financial “storm”, “a result of many circumstances, including issues in our own management, external markets and policies adopted by previous governments.”

On Monday, Argentines had mobilized massively to protest the government’s economic policies, which have also generated criticism among legislators, many of whom have called it a serious setback.

Despite the IMF loan, the Argentine economy is going through an alarming situation due to the high inflation rate (around 30% per annum), the devaluation of the Argentine peso by about 20% and a decrease of more than 12,000 million dollars of monetary reserves.

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