The Upper House ratified the validity of 20 decrees that were signed in the last two months to alleviate the consequences of the coronavirus
In the framework of the first virtual session in the Argentine parliamentary history, the Chamber of Senators of the Nation ratified the validity of twenty Decrees of Necessity and Urgency (DNU) signed by the Executive Power during the last two months to alleviate the social and economic consequences that the coronavirus pandemic.
The Senate ratified that the constitutional guarantees were fulfilled thanks to the unanimous vote of the legislators after a session that lasted around five hours.
However, in two of the decrees the opposition voted against or abstained: these are Decrees 313 and 329 of 2020.
The first (313/20) ordered the closing of borders and the impossibility that Argentines abroad can return to the country, which was in effect between March 26 and 31, and the second (DNU 329/20) prohibits dismissals without just cause for sixty days.
The first of the decrees obtained 44 votes in favor and 25 against and two abstentions, while the second was approved by 55 votes in favor, one against and fifteen abstentions.
In both cases it was manifestations of the interblock of Together for Change.
The vice president and president of the Senate left open the first virutal session in the Argentine parliamentary history
The validity of the decrees was discussed during the first virtual session of the Senate’s history, after more than four hours of discussion by videoconference.
Although there were some connection problems averaging the transmission, the 71 senators were able to vote without problems and around 26 were able to speak.
At the end of the debate, the head of the Everyone’s Front block, José Mayans, remarked that “There are people who need the state to give answers” and called for “sharpening the ingenuity, Argentina and the world, so that there is a decent life.”
“Yesterday we had a record of infections. For this reason, we must rise to the occasion,” he said. And he also questioned “some senators who say that parliament is standing still.”
“I wonder, what do those senators do? They join the voices of some who preach anti-politics because they do not agree with democracy or with fundamental freedoms,” he said.
What were the ratified decrees
The government of Alberto Fernández issued decrees to establish social isolation; freezing of rental and credit quotas; reinforcements of social aid for vulnerable sectors; benefits for SMEs, which allow them to face the payment of wages in the face of falling economic activity, among other issues.
The 71 senators were able to vote without problems and around 26 were able to speak
The DNUs also attended the Expansion of the Public Emergency in health matters for one year, the obligation to quarantine people entering the country for 14 days, the ban on cutting public services and closing bank accounts until April 30.
Further, They extended deadlines for SMEs to subscribe to the moratorium for the payment of their debts and frozen until September the foreclosures, as well as the fees for rentals and mortgage loans.
The Government also ordered through a DNU on March 31 and for a period of 60 days the prohibition of dismissals “without just cause and for the reasons of reduction of work and force majeure, as well as those suspensions for reasons of force majeure and lack or decrease of work “.
Along these lines, it created the Emergency Assistance Program for Work and Production for employers and employers, and workers affected by the Emergency, and the Evaluation and Monitoring Committee of the Emergency Assistance Program for Work and Production, which will be integrated by the heads of the Ministries of Productive Development, Economy and Labor, Employment and Social Security.
These are the decrees, one by one:
1) DNU 260/2020 Declaration of the health emergency for a period of one year in relation to the Covid 19 coronavirus.
2) DNU 274/2020 Prohibition of entry into the national territory of foreign persons for a period of 15 days.
3) DNU 287/2020 Modification of DNU 260/2020 to facilitate the purchase of supplies.
4) DNU 297/2020 Declaration of preventive and compulsory social isolation.
5) DNU 311/2020 Suspension of court in case of default or non-payment of services.
6) DNU 312/2020 Suspension of closure of bank accounts.
7) DNU 313/2020 Extension of the scope of the prohibition of entry into the national territory through ports, airports, international crossings, border centers and any other access point.
8) DNU 316/2020 Extension of the term to benefit from the Debt Regularization Regime.
9) DNU 319/2020 Freezing of mortgage loan installments.
10) DNU 320/2020 Freezing of rents under the public emergency.
11) DNU 325/2020 Extension to preventive and compulsory social isolation until April 12.
12) DNU 326/2020 Creation of a Specific Affectation Fund in order to grant guarantees to facilitate access to loans for working capital, by the MSMEs.
13) DNU 329/2020 Prohibition of dismissals and suspension of staff for 60 days.
14) DNU 331/2020 Extension until April 12 inclusive of the prohibition of entry into the national territory of foreign persons not resident in the country.
15) DNU 332/2020 Creation of the Emergency Assistance Program for Work and Production (ATP).
16) DNU 347/2020 Creation of the Evaluation and Monitoring Committee of the Emergency Assistance Program for Work and Production.
17) DNU 355/2020 Extension of preventive and compulsory social isolation until April 26, 2020 inclusive.
18) DNU 365/2020 Border closure until April 26, 2020 inclusive.
19) DNU 367/2020 Establishes that Covid-19 is an unlisted professional disease.
20) DNU 376/2020 Extension of the subjects reached and the benefits included in the Emergency Assistance Program for Work and Production.
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