Monday, January 04, 2016

More governing by emergency decree in Argentina

I'm beginning to wonder if Argentina's new President Mauricio Macri just intends to rule by decree. It's starting to go from obnoxious and overbearing to scary.

His latest move today is to issue another emergency decree to modify the law on hydorcarbon investment. (Decreto de Necesidad y Urgencia Página/12 04.01.2016)

The previous government had decide to take majority ownership of the previously-privatized YPF energy company by buying the shares at a reasonable market price from the Spanish company that was the primary owner.

Macri's latest move seems clearly aimed at re-privatizing YPF at a rapid pace.

The technical name of his decrees is "Decreto de Necesidad y Urgencia" ("Decree of Nessity and Urgency").

This is starting to look like a serious abuse of power that is likely to continue.

And this is a President who has a supportive majority in Congress!

And Macri is pressing forward with his modifications-by-decree of the anti-monopoly Broadcast Media Law. Frederico Poore reports for the Buenos Aires Herald (‘This marks a return to the privileges enjoyed by monopolies’ 01/04/2016):

The independent expert for the United Nations who praised the Broadcast Media Law soon after it was passed in 2009 has warned that President Mauricio Macri’s move to change the landmark regulation by decree was “an attack on freedom of expression.”

Frank La Rue, who served as the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression from 2008 until 2014, said the move was “unconstitutional.”

“This represents a return to the privileges enjoyed by monopolies in Argentina, an era we hoped was over,” La Rue said in an e-mail conversation with the Herald.

His remarks came days after the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American States (OAS), Edison Lanza said the offensive against the AFSCA media watchdog was an “unorthodox” move that bypassed the processes stipulated by law. ...

In 2010, soon after the Media Law was passed with broad majority in both houses of Congress, La Rue hailed the new regulation saying “it seeks an equitable formula in the administration of broadcast frequencies” between public/state, commercial and community/non-commercial media outlets.

“Argentina has turned into a worldwide lesson, especially in relation to community media,” the UN official said back then.

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