Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Apparent beheading of Steven Sotloff sees more calls for #IsisMediaBlackout

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Lesotho Coup: Exiled Prime Minister vows to return home after fleeing

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors? (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

    Read more

  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Julie Gayet wins privacy case against French glossy Closer

    Read more

  • Germany blocks popular car pick-up service Uber

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Britain drops arrest warrant for ill boy’s parents

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

Americas Americas

Senate approves pension funds takeover

Video by Olivia SALAZAR WINSPEAR

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-21

Argentina's Senate approved a state takeover of $24 billion in private pension funds. President Cristina Kirchner said this would protect workers from the financial crisis but critics have raised concerns about the country's ability to pay debts.

A  bill to nationalize over 26 billion dollars in private pension funds was approved by the Senate late Thursday, after clearing the Chamber of Deputies earlier this month, and was headed to President Cristina Kirchner for her signature.
  
The measure, a flashpoint of controversy since Kirchner last month announced her intent to nationalize 10 bank-owned pension funds to protect retirees from the effects of the global financial crisis, was approved by a 46-18 vote in the Senate.
  
Kirchner defended the plan at last weekend's G20 summit in Washington, saying the 1994 privatization of Argentine pension funds was responsible for "42 percent of external debt" and played a large part in Argentina's 2001 default on its international debt obligations.
  
Argentina's private pension funds cover 9.5 million workers -- of whom only 3.6 million meaningfully contribute -- and lost 17.5 percent of their worth, some 8.1 million dollars, between October 2007 and October 2008, according to the government.
  
Opponents of the nationalization believe it is a confiscation of funds that would be used to pay the country's public debt. Argentina in 2009 faces debt payments of some 20 billion dollars.
  
The reform continues a policy of strengthening the state's role in the economy which began under the previous president, Nestor Kirchner, the current president's husband.
  
During Nestor Kirchner's 2003-2007 presidency the postal service, the water works company and rail lines among other things were nationalized.
  
The proposed nationalization has divided the country. Polls show that a majority of Argentines support a state-run retirement system, but the move caused panic among investors, sending Spanish stocks and Argentina's MerVal index plunging in October when it was announced.

Date created : 2008-11-21

COMMENT(S)