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28 Ιαν 2013

The New York Times : Θετική η οικονομική πορεία της Αργεντινής




Horacio Paone for The New York Times
 Horacio Paone


Στο άρθρο που παρατίθεται πιο κάτω, ανλύεται η  θετική οικονομική πορεία της Αργεντινής με την έγκυρη υπογραφή των New York Times. Από το άρθρο προκύπτει ότι,  η κατάσταση σήμερα είναι πολύ καλύτερη απο ότι ήταν πριν όταν το αργεντίνικο πέσος ήταν συνδεδεμένο με το σκληρό αμερικάνικο δολάριο. Η οικονομική πολιτική της Κριστίνας Κίρτσνερ  στηρίζεται στο κατάλληλα υποτιμημένο εθνικό της νόμισμα, αλλά και σε ένα ευρύτερο σύστημα ελέγχων των εισαγωγών και των εξαγωγών με θετικότατα αποτελέσματα, όπως διαφαίνεται απο τη μεγάλη αύξηση του ΑΕΠ, της βιομηχανικής δραστηριότητας και τη μείωση της ανεργίας. Στα πλάισια αυτής της σύγχρονης επεκτατικής Κευνσιανής πολιτικής, ο υπάρχων πληθωρισμός της τάξης του 10-20%, τον οποίο καταδικάζουν μονολιθικά οι μονεταριστές, αποτελεί ελάσσων πρόβλημα στην πραγματικότητα. Κατά μία άποψη, ένας τέτοιος ελεγχόμενος πληθωρισμός, μπορεί και να λειτουργεί  ευεργετικά σπρώχνοντας προς τα επάνω όλη την οικονομία. Και αυτό, με την προυπόθεση ότι το κράτος αποφεύγει τις σπατάλες και αντιστέκεται  στην υπέρμετρη παροχολογία που δημιουργεί πολλαπλασιαστικές πληθωριστικές προσδοκίες και καταστάσεις. Στο τέλος του άρθρου των New York Times, παραθέτουμε και την πρόσφατη έκθεση της CIA για την οικονομία της Αργεντινής, όπου επίσης, αναδεικνύεται η γενικότερα θετική πορεία της χώρας τα τελευταία χρόνια, σε πείσμα των απίθανων περι του αντιθέτου ψευδολογιών που διαδίδουν τα εδώ επαίσχυντα καθεστωτικά μέσα μαζικής αποχάυνωαης.  

Argentina rebounded from its economic crisis of 2001 with steady economic growth, disrupted only briefly by the global slowdown triggered by the financial crisis of 2008.
In 2010, the economy grew by 9.2 percent, the fastest in Latin America. And as its economy recovered, so did the political prospects of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who was re-elected by a wide margin in October 2011.

Mrs. Kirchner, who succeeded her husband, Néstor Kirchner, in 2007 to become the country’s first female president, made a remarkable comeback. By 2009, her combative style, highlighted by a heated dispute over agricultural export taxes, sent her approval ratings below 30 percent, and economists predicted doom for the subsidy-heavy economic model first orchestrated by Mr. Kirchner.
By the time of her re-election campaign, by many measures Argentina was booming: the economy was expected to grow by 8 percent in 2011, the fastest growth in Latin America; employment had reached record levels; and the poverty rate had been cut by more than half since 2007, the government said. The country continues to benefit from heavy government spending, high commodity prices and strong demand from China for its agricultural products.
Still, in re-electing Mrs. Kirchner, voters seemed willing to look past some troubling signs. Inflation soared to over 20 percent in 2011,  second only to Venezuela’s among major Latin American economies, economists said. And the government has continued to govern with a heavy hand and little tolerance for opponents, including among the news media.
Opposition candidates tried to seize on those issues but gained little atraction with voters.

Nationalizing the Nation’s Largest Oil Company
In April 2012, Mrs. Kirchner announced that the government would seize a majority stake in YPF, the nation’s largest oilcompany.
The expropriation would reassert state control over an important pillar of Argentina’s economy, but it has increased diplomatic tensions with Spain and the European Union.
Under Mrs. Kirchner’s plan, which she announced on national television, Argentina’s government would take a 51 percent controlling stake in YPF, which is now majority-owned by a Spanish energy company, Repsol YPF. Of that new stake, Argentina’s central government would get 51 percent and the country’s provinces 49 percent. The plan is part of a bill submitted to Argentina’s Congress that is widely expected to be approved.
The Spanish government repeated its earlier pledge to retaliate, though it did not specify how. Following an emergency cabinet meeting in Madrid on Monday evening, José Manuel García Margallo, the Spanish foreign minister, said that Madrid “condemned with the utmost energy” Argentina’s move. The European Union also criticized the plan.
Repsol owns 57 percent of YPF and said Monday that it would study “all legal options available”  to defend its interests and those of shareholders against a forced sale. It was not immediately clear how YPF’s shareholders would be affected by the takeover. A tribunal would determine how much compensation that Repsol and other shareholders would receive for their YPF shares.
Mrs. Kirchner said that the expropriation of YPF, a company founded by Argentina’s government in the 1920s and privatized in the 1990s, was a “recovery of sovereignty and control.” She said the move would allow Argentina to raise production, after the country had recently become an energy importer.
For months, the central government and provincial officials had pressured YPF to raise its investments in Argentine production. The government’s tactics had included revoking concessions for coveted fields.
Seizing YPF appears to be a popular move in Argentina, where caps on residential energy prices and a growing economy have helped push energy demand to new highs. And many Argentines still resent the privatization of state-owned companies in the 1990s, so taking on YPF gives Mrs. Kirchner the opportunity to go after a symbol of that time.
Mrs. Kirchner had already nationalized Argentine Airlines and pension funds, while also pressuring companies in Argentina to repatriate export proceeds in an effort to slow capital flight. Seizing control of YPF sent a new signal about Argentina’s policies toward foreign investment, especially in the energy sector.

Background
During the 1990s, seeking to tame hyperinflation, Argentina had tied the value of its peso to the American dollar — a “convertibility” strategy that proved unsustainable because of rising global interest rates. The country privatized many industries, which led to high unemployment but also made Argentina’s economy more efficient.
By 1999, however, it was clear to most economists that Argentina was marching inexorably toward a default and devaluation. The number of people under the poverty line was growing — it peaked at more than 50 percent of the population in 2002 — and unemployment was soaring.
Social tensions rose. There were eight general strikes in Argentina in 2001, with looting and thousands of roadblocks. Huge lines formed outside many European embassies as waves of Argentines fled their country.
In December, the government fell, and the departing president fled as a riot raged below. Over the next 10 days, four presidents assumed power and then quickly resigned before a fifth, Eduardo Duhalde, declared the currency devaluation. A short time later, Congress formally approved the debt default that was already a de facto reality.
In 2003, Mr. Kirchner was elected to succeed the interim president, Mr. Duhalde. Mr. Kirchner embarked on a new economic model — the one that his wife continued to follow. Its pillars are sustaining a weak currency to foster exports and discourage imports, and maintaining fiscal and trade surpluses that can be tapped for financing government and paying down debt.

The Argentine government waited until 2005, when its economy was already in recovery, to conduct the first of two debt restructurings. Nongovernment foreign investors — the biggest included pension funds from Italy, Japan and the United States — took haircuts costing them two-thirds of their investments.
Notably, the one creditor that was paid back in full — in 2006 — was the International Monetary Fund, to which Argentina owed $9.8 billion dating to the 1990s.
Since paying off the International Monetary Fund, Argentina has not borrowed from the fund. That enabled the Kirchner governments to avoid the agency’s typical prescription of cutting state spending.
The Argentine government has maintained hefty subsidies on energy and some food to avoid public discontent — steps that would be anathema to the monetary fund. But high commodity prices have helped let Mrs. Kirchner maintain popularity at home through generous government outlays