Minister Public

For worse, this trend of the real exchange rate is maintained (even seems to be that it accelerates by inflationary effect), and the Argentine consulting firm Prefinex, is a fall in the competitiveness of Argentina regarding the U.S. hoped for this year.UU. of 12.6%. Not only the country’s competitiveness has deteriorated, but that also the fiscal surplus has done. Despite good numbers which are displayed in terms of tax revenue, which in April showed a growth of 45%, it is true that public spending is also growing dramatically. This is not the problem behind this fiscal surplus in recoil, but worst of all is that it is based increasingly on the external bonanza that allows large revenues through withholding exports. And at the same time increasing deductions (whose fundraising is not reported by the provinces), reduces the income of the provinces which aggravates the fiscal situation of the same. To less competitiveness and less fiscal surplus, we must add another deterioration in the situation of the Argentine economy: strong growth of public debt.

After a successful restructuring of the public debt with an important removes and a substantial improvement in the structure of the debt, today, to three years of the closure of the megacanje of the debt (which occurred on 25 February 2005), the current amount of government debt is not very different from the existing prior to the crisis of 2001. Currently Argentina public debt amounts to US $144.728,6 million. Well, actually the real figure is higher since this amount does not consider the holdouts and would be even greater, according to several analysts, if the inflation data declared by the Government exacted more than estimated by the market (for the Argentine consulting firm Econometrica, if the Government would have validated a 17% inflation debt would have increased another $4,800 million during that period). The truth is that this public debt figure is at levels which had in the end of the De la Rua Government, when the crisis broke. And not only in nominal terms but also as a percentage of GDP.

Deterioration of competitiveness, fiscal surplus and increase in the public debt to the 2001 levels can be something worse? Yes, and step to enumerate: the increase in dependence on the external surplus of agricultural exports, the increase in dependence on the fiscal surplus of withholding exports, an excessive increase in subsidies to avoid major increases in prices, with derivations on the distortion of relative prices in the economy. To all this we must add a not favourable context for the development of productive (especially the long-term investments that require a context of stability to invest), also is reflected in (missing fuels and electric energy) energy problems. And as icing on cake, turned to install an evil with force with which the country lived for a long time and that seemed banished: the inflationary problem the Argentines have become accustomed to living with inflation and that is worrying. Is still time to change to avoid this situation arising in a new crisis the new Minister of economy may do it?