El CRONISTA – The Group of Six and the Convergence Forum are already working on a proposal on how to get the country out of the pandemic and reinsert it in the economic wheel. Perhaps without wanting it and surely without explicitly asking for it, it was President Alberto Fernández himself who finished giving the impetus to the main national business leaders when on July 9 he celebrated Independence Day by sitting in the same photo both businessmen and unionists in a celebration in which the governors also participated. That was not just a photo; It was a harsh political gesture of “Albertism” going back to its mainstays: the governors and the CGT; only now he will have to add the private leg if he wants to sustain beyond quarantine and his first seven months in government a sustainable line that generates confidence and revival in the economy and can surf the political tensions of the government alliance. The business leaders of the so-called Group of Six picked up the glove immediately.
The idea is to buy time for the convening of the Economic and Social Council and to have concrete short-term proposals to avoid that initiative of what was the Hunger Table, with many called for the photo but few “soldiers” on the day a day. The urgency makes employers bet, at least for now, on more modest but more concrete actions such as the one achieved by the UIA and the CGT at the beginning of the preventive and compulsory quarantine by agreeing to reduce wages. From the private sector they put many chips for this armed to the secretary of Strategic Affairs, Gustavo Béliz, who in fact called last Wednesday for a first preparatory meeting.
At the July 9 meeting in Olivos, the President had already ratified the reversal of the Vicentin expropriation and the success in negotiating the debt with the bondholders under foreign law. Although in the call it had been said that the businessmen would have a subsequent meeting alone with the President and that, finally, did not happen; the businessmen took advantage of every moment at the side of the prime minister, who also would have admitted modifications in another subject considered essential for the private agenda, such as the clamp on the dollar and the restrictions of the Central Bank. In reality, the exchange rate would not seem to be behind the United States, for example, although it does present some difficulties with other countries with which Argentina markets, according to a report by the Ferreres study that puts more emphasis on the loss of capital. of the country and an eventual fall in investment that would amount to 30% by the end of this 2020 complex. Not to mention the increases that are slowed down and should be activated in the second half of the year, such as rates.
In this sense, Ricardo Torres, president and CEO of Edenor calculated that, for example, the clients of that company received US $ 500 million from the State in 2019 and now 70% pay up to five times the electric bill for cable or internet service or a Naphtha tank is, on average, four times that expense. In this exchange of signals face to face, the leaders of the G6 decided at the doors of Olivos to advance with a joint document that would be out of the oven in the coming days. The technical teams work on the basis of the reactivation plan that the Industrial Union has already presented, which Miguel Acevedo conducts.
There are differences between the entities that are basically related to the fate that touched them during the quarantine. In other words, the countryside, which was represented by Daniel Pelegrina, helmsman of the Rural Society who has just completed 154 years in quarantine, for example, never stopped working. Something similar happened with banks while industry, except for the food that has been driving the economy and will continue to do so in the post-pandemic, construction and part of commerce were immobilized. In any case, there are fundamental coincidences: high tax pressure, a high level of indebtedness, access to productive credit, and new contracting modalities. The text, which is still missing a final edition, revolves around these coincidences. The Liaison Table, which includes all the entities of the sector in addition to the SRA, Coninagro, CRA and the Agrarian Federation, comes with weekly virtual meetings in which it polishes its own proposals, based on 14 points that have already been delivered to the Government.
In these last hours they are practically doomed to attacks on silo stock exchanges and the closure of provincial borders. Last week they met with the security ministers, Sabrina Frederic, and the agriculture ministers, Luis Basterra, and they managed to incorporate these attacks as a topic within the protocol that the Internal Security Council is attending to. Since then, there has been a personal follow-up of the minister to unify the information about rural violence and define State actions. With the head of the Cabinet, Santiago Cafiero, the ruralistas work on closing the borders between Tucumán and Santiago del Estero and Córdoba and San Luis as the most critical sources since these regulations imposed by the governors hinder the operation of the activity that is considered essential and it even delays the transfer of essential workers from one province to another. The Business Convergence Forum (FCE), which met online on Wednesday and promotes a third meeting with the CGT leadership for the not too distant future, is moving in the same direction.
In this case, the FCE works in the medium term, more than in the urgency of leaving the quarantine, but it points to the national, provincial and municipal tax scheme that, according to the calculations of this forum, coordinated by Miguel Blanco, towards the end of 2019 represented in terms of tax pressure in relation to GDP a volume of resources similar to the standby agreement that ex-president Mauricio Macri negotiated with the IMF. In the document of the group that brings together more than 60 business entities, the economist Manuel Solanet and his team from the Fundación Libertad y Progreso would be sharpening the pencil
Sitting the businessmen at the same table was a tough political gesture of “Albertism” going back to its mainstays: the governors and the CGT
Now you must add the private leg if you want to sustain beyond the quarantine a sustainable line that generates reactivation in the economy