Argentina Country Report
President Mauricio Macri is facing a major political challenge, as he will have to implement unpopular austerity measures in the framework of a deal with the IMF to reduce the fiscal deficit. In May 2018, sharp peso depreciation revealed that markets were for the first time questioning Macri's "gradualist" economic model, and the economy is headed for recession in the third quarter of 2018, while inflation will remain high. Austerity measures (including further subsidies cuts) will trigger protests and strikes, while Macri's pro-business agenda, including a proposed labour reform, is likely to be considerably delayed. This will undermine Macri's popularity ahead of the 2019 general election, but the divided opposition has so far failed to capitalise on it.
President Mauricio Macri has made fundamental shifts on price controls, utility tariffs, export taxes, and currency and import controls. The larger support base won in Congress by ruling Cambiemos ("Let's Change") coalition in the October 2017 mid-term legislative elections facilitated the approval of tax, pension, and fiscal changes. The government has also committed to invest in vital infrastructure, notably the Plan Belgrano. However, a deal with the IMF aimed at reducing the fiscal deficit is likely to delay policymaking aimed at improving market access in the second half of 2018.
The main risk in Argentina comes from small anarchist groups, which occasionally use homemade IEDs against banks and embassies. However, risk of large-scale damage to property is low. In 1992 and 1994, two major terrorist attacks planned by Hizbullah against the Israeli embassy and a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires killed more than 100 people, but no similar attacks have since occurred. Terrorism risks will slightly increase in 2018 as the country hosts the G20.
Although reclaiming sovereignty over the Falkland Islands from the United Kingdom is a longstanding foreign policy priority, Argentina's much-reduced military capabilities and political considerations make another attempt to take the islands by force very unlikely. Foreign ships operating in the disputed area face a low risk of seizure, but military confrontation is highly improbable, given the UK's marked military superiority and sharp cuts in Argentina's military budget. In recognition of this, Argentina has reiterated it will keep pursuing its claim through diplomatic channels. The issue will continue to be raised at the United Nations and regional groups.
Politically and economically motivated protests are likely to remain frequent through 2018, mainly driven by President Mauricio Macri's economic adjustment, particularly following a deal with the International Monetary Fund, which means deepening austerity measures. Environmental concerns over energy, mining, and genetically modified crops will also remain drivers of protest, as will inflation and perceptions of rising crime. Strikes by the powerful truck drivers' union pose serious disruption risks for ground cargo nationwide and the country's main ports. Anti-mining protests by environmentalists and opposition to fracking are likely to drive sporadic localised protests.
Vaccines Required to Enter the Country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers
Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).
Vaccines Recommended for Most Travelers
Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.
Typhoid fever: The typhoid fever vaccine can be administered via injection (administered in one dose) or orally (four doses). The vaccine is only 50-80 percent effective, so travelers to areas with a risk of exposure to typhoid fever, a bacterial disease, should also take hygienic precautions (e.g. drink only bottled water, avoid undercooked foods, wash hands regularly, etc.). Children can be given the shot beginning at two years of age (six for the oral vaccine).
Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers
Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.
Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).
Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is generally recommended for travelers to the following regions: Corrientes and Misiones provinces (northeast). A single dose of YF vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained life-long immunity against the disease; it should be taken ten days in advance to be fully effective.
Coastal areas of Argentina, including Buenos Aires, and low-lying areas in Santa Fe province are vulnerable to flooding. Some 80 people died in April 2013 in flooding in Buenos Aires province, including within the city limits.
The Andes mountain range, in which Argentina is partially located, is a seismic zone; as such, earthquakes regularly strike in Argentina, particularly in the north and west. However, major damage or loss of life is rare.
Volcanic eruptions in neighboring Chile can lead to major flight disruptions in Argentina, sometimes lasting days or even weeks.
It should be noted that rail networks are limited and, as such, long-distance travel is usually taken by airplane or by bus.
Buenos Aires is served by commuter rail lines as well as a metro. However, the metro only serves a relatively small part of the city. The rest of the city is served by buses. Public transit is safe in the capital, although users should be on alert for pickpockets. Uber has been banned in the capital region although the application is still active (drivers risk up to ten days in prison).
Taxi scams are relatively common at international airports. Here, the safest types of taxi are private remises, which generally charge by the kilometer, though there is often a set fee when traveling from airports which is paid at the taxi company's kiosk located at the airport. Radio taxis are also safe, as well as plentiful and inexpensive, and can be picked up at taxi stands or hailed off the street; in Buenos Aires they are yellow and black, while outside the capital they are white and blue.
Police checkpoints are common on roads outside the capital and, as such, it is important to always carry your photo ID (passport), driver's license, vehicle registration documents, and car insurance information when driving. The country suffers from relatively high rates of traffic accidents (7896 road fatalities in 2013) and road conditions vary throughout the country.
Adverse weather conditions, such as snow and wind, regularly lead to land border closures with neighboring Chile, many of which are located in the Andes mountain range. On a related note, long waiting times have become common at the border - in particular, at the Los Libertadores border crossing - with Argentineans flocking to shop in Chile, where many products are sold at cheaper prices. There are strict importation laws in Argentina and cars are subject to search. Waiting times tend to be particularly long on weekends, particularly in the weeks preceding Christmas.
Power outages are relatively common in Buenos Aires due to insufficient energy supplies, especially during periods of particularly high temperatures during the summer months (October-March). The outages regularly result in protests as well as traffic disruptions due to nonfunctioning traffic lights.
In the northeast the climate is subtropical (hot and humid); the rainy season there lasts from November until March during which period violent but brief thunderstorms are common. From May until September, temperatures are pleasant during the day and sometimes cool at night.
In the Buenos Aires region, humidity levels are high all year long. The summer is hot and humid and the winter mild and humid. Springtime is pleasant.
In the northwest the rainy season, when temperatures are high during the day and cool at night, begins in October and ends in March. The rest of the year temperatures are mild and it rain is rare.
In Patagonia, rain is rare throughout the year. Conditions in the winter are dry, sunny, and very windy while summers are mild. In Tierra del Fuego (extreme south), winters are cold and summers cool.
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