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ARGENTINA | 14-03-2024 14:54

President Milei sends scaled-back 'omnibus' reform bill to Argentina's governors

So-called ‘omnibus bill’ — now containing 269 articles, less than half than the original version — excludes the privatisation of YPF while maintaining sell-off of Aerolíneas Argentinas SA. 

President Javier Milei has circulated a new, trimmed version of his reform package to the country’s governors in a bid to win their support before he resubmits it to Congress. 

The so-called ‘omnibus bill’ — now containing 269 articles, less than half than the original version — excludes the privatisation of state-run energy giant YPF SA while maintaining the privatisation of airline Aerolíneas Argentinas SA. 

The bill, a copy of which was seen by Bloomberg on Thursday, also includes a new formula for calculating pension payments that make up a major portion of government spending and often hit a social nerve in Argentina. 

The new version illustrates Milei’s revised negotiating tactic, seeking to build support among Argentina’s governors this time instead of rushing it through Congress without listening to their input. 

In exchange, his government is offering “fiscal relief” to provinces badly in need of federal funding to shore up provincial coffers that pay state workers’ salaries and bondholders. 

Milei’s first attempt at passing the omnibus legislation stalled after the lower house of Congress initially approved it in a general vote, but then a week later started rejecting several articles. That forced Milei to send the bill back to committee. 

The new draft was circulated the same day senators consider repealing Milei’s other major piece of legislation, a December decree that focused on deregulating various aspects of the economy. 

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by Manuela Tobias, Bloomberg

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