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Argentina Hikes Electricity Prices Up To 400%, Passes More Pro-Business Measures; Protests Continue

Argentina MarketsNewly appointed Argentine President Mauricio Macri has eliminated controls on Friday for companies that enforced price labeling of products, teleSur reports.

The regulation was passed in October 2015 by former President Cristina Fernandez to avoid price manipulation by traders.

Specifically, goods such as food, drinks, hygiene products, and cleaning products came under an agreed reference price which was noted on the products under a system called Careful Prices. Changing the price labeling could allow businesses to sell the products above this price.

Trade Minister Miguel Braun, claimed the regulation was eliminated because state controls “produce distortions in the marketing of products and do not protect the consumer.”

The move is part of a series of neoliberal reforms implemented by the new government in Argentina.

However, the new norm was signed by the Commerce Secretary Miguel Braun, who is also a cousin of the owners of La Anonima, one of the biggest chains in the country.

In a further backlash against the people of Argentina, from Monday residents of metropolitian Buenos Aires will pay up to four times the price for electricity.

Last week, Argentina’s Energy Ministry ordered the ENRE, the national institution of electricity, to adjust the prices of electricity. The measure will affect the entire country, with an average 235 percent price hike, according to Pagina 12. Residents living in the capital and its surroundings should expect a 200-400 percent increase due to higher costs of distribution.

Thousands of Argentines across the country are taking to the streets to protest repression and censorship under Macri’s government. They reject the new media law, the depreciation of the Argentine Peso, the mass firing of public sector workers, and increased electricity prices, among other issues.

Meanwhile, a group of activists continue to occupy the emblematic Plaza de Mayo, demanding the immediate release of social leader Milagro Sala, who was imprisoned during a protest against the Macri government.

Over 40,000 people have been fired in the public sector in less than 30 days. According to opposition lawmaker Mario Metaza, Macri is planning is to scrap 200,000 jobs; “That’s the right wing, that’s what’s coming,” he said.

Source: teleSur


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