Argentina Caps Political Appointee Salaries At ARS3000/M


By:  Dawn Weiner
The  Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2002


Buenos Aires -- Political appointees of Argentine President Eduardo Duhalde's administration will have their salaries capped at 3,000 pesos ($1=ARS1.75) a month, local papers reported Thursday.

Career politicians and government employees who work outside the country will be excluded from the salary cap, papers quoted government officials as saying.

The ARS3,000 salary cap was originally proposed by former President Adolfo Rodriguez Saa, who took over the office in December after bloody riots and political opposition ousted President Fernando de la Rua. Populist Rodriguez Saa lasted only a week in the post.

There was some confusion this week over whether Duhalde's administration would stick to the salary limits. Government officials expressed concern that the country would face more workers' protests and lose valuable officials, such as high-level economic technocrats, if it applied the salary cap to all government officials. In addition, the government said officials assigned to posts outside the country, such as ambassadors, couldn't survive on the reduced salary.

The Argentine peso, which for 11 years was pegged 1-to-1 to the dollar, was devalued in early January. While the peso has lost significant ground against the dollar in the past few weeks, central bank intervention and an illiquid market have kept it from weakening more.

In President Fernando de la Rua's administration, government officials' salaries were capped at ARS5,000 per month.

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