Recently enforced restrictions mean buying large amounts of dollars in the country requires more checks than before, with people turned away from banks and change houses if they can not prove where their money came from. But is this the sign of a new economic crisis?
The Argentina Independent took some time out to see what the locals think about the issue.
Wilka Rojas Caro, 31, Musician, Palermo
“What restrictions? You can buy dollars. For me nothing has changed, I don’t think there is a crisis with dollars. In reality, to buy dollars you have to show some papers, but if I want dollars, I can buy them. I have to justify money in cases where I want to buy US$500,000, and declare my taxes from what I earn. Like if I wanted to buy US$500,000 but my tax receipts showed my income to be around $2,000, in that case they won’t let me buy the dollars because it is clear there is something not right. Like for artist Susana Giménez, she can buy through her companies but not as an individual.”
Lola Galiñanes, 24, Student, Recoleta
“I have no idea if the new restrictions will change anything; the change in buying dollars really doesn’t affect me because I never buy them. I think we definitely are going through a crisis at the moment, but I have no idea how we can resolve it.”
Pablo Castellaro, 37, Merchant, San Telmo
“Yes, obviously these restrictions will help the problem with dollars. But we don’t need to use dollars, on the contrary, we shouldn’t. I don’t consume dollars, so the crisis is not really affecting me, although I don’t really think there is a crisis. I know we are speculating problems with the dollar, but the people that have the money handle it as well, there is no actual crisis. I don’t think we are going to end up in the crisis either, politics in this country is focusing on stabilising itself, stabilising the Argentine peso. So no, I don’t believe there is a crisis.”
Alejandra Nuñez, 50, chef, Congreso
“I am going to say yes, the restrictions on dollars will help tax evasion. The thing is, our Argentina is really difficult at the moment, for this, every person thinks if they buy dollars they will resolve their economic problems. We have a strong peso, and we should respect this; the only way to resolve the problem is to have restrictions. But all this doesn’t affect me in any way. I have pesos, I buy pesos and I live in Argentina.”
Chris Bey, 30, student, United States
“I guess the restrictions will help tax evasion, I mean I don’t know, as a foreigner I don’t really think about the tax evasion, but I know the government has problems with that. The problem with Argentina is that there are too many people that work off the books, the new not-letting-people-convert-to-dollars is not changing the fact that people are working under the table. And as a matter of fact, I think right now it is going to negatively impact the economy which will probably drive more people to wind up working off the books anyway.”
The new restrictions are a problem, from what I understand there are a lot of foreigners, and even some Argentines, that have to pay their rent in dollars so it is creating a problem for them.”