The agreement with the IMF was aimed at advancing for a paved road in the Senatewith a sector of the ruling party against it but without endangering the sanction of the project, until the closing of the registry of soybean meal and oil exports put on alert to the opposition and to agricultural entities for the possible rise in withholdings.
Referents of the Front of All in charge of monitoring the support maintained the confidence that there will be lawalthough Together for Change opened a discussion on whether he will link the rejection of a greater tax pressure on producers with the position before the refinancing of the debt.
The announcement of the closure of exports, considered a preliminary step to a new withholding scheme, accumulated questions from radicals, macristas and the Civic Coalition. Even so the opposing swords in the Senate at first they ruled out that it could condition the position about the understanding with the IMF. During the treatment in Deputies, the ruling party gave in by removing the economic program and Together for Change mostly supported the project. Only Ricardo López Murphy voted against and four others were absent.
However, late in the afternoon, a sector of the PRO announced that it would raise the issue of withholdings before the national table of the opposition front in negotiations with the ruling party to ratify the agreement with the Fund. “To continue in the line that we had in Deputies, they have to withdraw the increase to soybean meal and oil. That they put that in the middle of the debate is a provocation, ”said a referent of the hard wing to Clarion.
At one point, while the tension was escalating, Martín Guzmán took off during his presentation in the Senate the possible measures agreed with the body. “On the issue of taxes and withholdings there is no commitment made in the context of the IMF program”, the Minister of Economy tried to clear the stage, although he did not rule out that the Government advances in that sense.
While the senators continued to ask Guzmán about the withholdings, José Mayans -head of the Frente de Todos bloc- admitted that the closure of the registry had generated some complications to confirm the supports and sounded out Martin Lousteau on the position of radicalism. The talk left him somewhat calmer, although at that point the national table had scheduled a meeting by Zoom to reject the possible increase in withholdings and discuss whether he affected the position in the Senate.
Then that virtual meeting was postponed for this Tuesday. As a reason they used the trip of Gerardo Morales to the United Arab Emirates to look for investments. In turn, the presidential spokeswoman Gabriela Cerruti came out to clarify that “there will be no increase” across the board of withholdings. Julián Domínguez -minister of Agroindustry- transmitted the same message to opposition leaders.
José Mayans speaks with Miguel Pesce, during the presentation of Martín Guzmán in the Senate. Photo: Juan Manuel Foglia.
“We do not see that the two things can be mixed”, dismissed a referent of the moderate sector of the PRO the conditioning to the agreement with the IMF. “For us, the increase in withholdings has to be by law, and that is not happening at this time in Congress,” he argued in reference to the alleged fall in the powers delegated to the Executive from the rejection of the 2022 Budget. Not everyone shares that interpretation.
At nightfall, radicalism and the Civic Coalition also showed inclined to support the accompaniment of the project to guarantee the indebtedness with the IMF to face the credit taken during the administration of Mauricio Macri and obtain a plus to strengthen the reserves.
In addition to probing opponents, Mayans dedicated a good part of the day to containing the division in the Frente de Todos: he spoke with Cristina Kirchner about the treatment of the project, met with senators critical of the agreement such as Anabel Fernández Sagasti, and led a bloc meeting. “There’s going to be a important number to accompany the project”, they maintained in the ruling party the confidence in sanctioning the law.
The rogue legislators they did not confirm how they will vote (“We didn’t ask them either”, said those who will be in favor) nor the vice president if she will be in charge of the debate. The ruling party will try to sign the opinion this Tuesday to take the project to the venue on Thursday.
In order to rush the times and not wait the seven days provided for in the regulations between the office and the session, the Front of All will need the endorsement of the opposition. Together for Change will finish defining it at the virtual meeting of the national table, although the senators were inclined to accept the proposal. “It must be resolved as soon as possible,” marked a radical.