Argentine President Nixes Bank Plan 

 By: The Associated Press

The Washington Post, April 17, 2002


Buenos Aires, Argentina President Eduardo Duhalde has rejected a government plan intended to slow thousands of court orders giving Argentines access to their savings despite a banking freeze, officials said Wednesday.

Economy Minister Jorge Remes Lenicov told reporters this week the government would issue a presidential decree to make it more difficult for Argentines to withdraw their savings by using court orders.

Duhalde was expected to sign the measure Tuesday night, but ultimately decided against it, worried Argentina's Supreme Court would rule the decree unconstitutional, Argentine daily Clarin reported.

The decree would have meant banks would not be forced to respond to rulings ordering them to return depositors' money.

For weeks, Argentine officials have been searching for ways to slow the thousands of court cases challenging the banking restrictions.

The restrictions limiting cash withdrawals to $500 a month were imposed Dec. 1 to prevent a run on the country's banks. That decision, combined with a deep four-year recession, have left the banking system on the verge of collapse.

The widely hated freeze has also triggered near daily protests in Buenos Aires, where angry Argentines have banged pots and pans outside banks demanding that their money be returned.

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