Is Argentina a "Banana Republic"?


..that is what we in Austria call countries where there is no consistency in laws and you cannot trust your politicians.

See here the meaning of Banana Republic

There have been many examples (please add your examples in the comments) about bad politics in Argentina and I will list the ones that I have heard about through international media (mostly economist) here:

Current event: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (the president) is working on a law to impose a new electronic tax on TV’s, Laptops, personal Computers, GPS Navigation Systems and phones if they are not produced in the south of Argentina. This will raise the VAT of such goods to 21% from previously 10.5% . Now the populist President calls things like laptops and computers luxury goods and this is the reason why she had proposed this law. The problem as I see it: A GPS system or a PC will never be produced in Argentina anyway. All that can and might happen is that they will be assembled in Argentina so the Argentinean companies will buy the usual components (GPS modules, computer chips, batteries, lcd screens etc…) from foreign companies and assemble them in Argentina. In my opinion two things will happen: Some people will build these assembling companies in the south of Argentina but not many. Reason being in a "Banana Republic" laws change quickly and there is no guarantee of investment. Imagine building a factory and then 1 year later the law which was responsible for you building the factory changes. Goods produced in Argentina will become more expensive as there is a lot less competition. The rich Argentinian consumers will still be able to afford computers and will mostly bring them from their holidays in Chile, Uruguay or the US but the poor will be pushed out and that is a real shame / no computer / no access to knowledge.

This is bad because there are foreign companies that have invested in Argentina and created good jobs there. The mostly Argentinean employees of these corporations will suffer. But it is worse because the general Argentinean consumer will suffer by paying higher prices for luxury goods (sic) – essential goods like a computer (!) It is hard enough for Argentineans to afford a computer right now.

While I did not find a international price comparison for Computers here is one for TV’s before the new tax


Lets hope the Argentinan MP’s don’t vote for this new “luxury tax”.

There is a Facebook cause which you can join and there are also blogs which have been created to speak about this issue: No Al Impuestazo tecnologico

This is my personal opinion about Argentinian politics. I like the people, the food and the country itsself but the politics are terrible. If you have an opinion I invite you to state it in the comments below. Feel free to comment in English or Spanish or even in German (I volunteer for translating the German 😉

Fake Argentinean Pesos

Liz and I where in Buenos Aires Argentina for the Easter weekend. We had an amazing time. We spent 2 nights at Rocio’s and Malcolm’s two friends. Rocio, who is originally Argentinian lived with Liz in Mexico City for a while and are a little bit like sisters. They live in Tigre which is a part of Buenos Aires. They have a really nice house with swimming pool and we enjoyed a Argentinean BBQ and had a lot of fun.. We also saw Buenos Aires but that’s not what I want to write about in this moment.

I want to write about fake money instead.

I received 20 Argentinean pesos, worth about 5 dollars. I do not recall from where but next time I wanted to use them to pay I was told they are fake. Even though I was told the 20 Argentinian pesos were fake I did not believe it. Who would print 20 fake pesos if they are only worth 5 USD. The cost of printing must be high, then getting them in to the money chain etc…

Anyway once I compared the fake with a different note it became clear that the Notes is indeed fake. Not even fake but a bad copy. See for yourself:


Fake Argentinean Pesos

In the above picture it is obvious the left is the fake.

.Fake Argentinean Pesos

The top Note is the fake one. I plan to elaborate more on Argentina but do take good care when receiving change. Best is probably to pay everything by Credit or Debit Card and then keep on checking your Credit Card statements to see if someone has cloned the card.

Playa Del Carmen a short guide of what to do

Off topic: This post is not about Chile: Tyffanie  mentioned that she would be going to Playa Del Carmen for a honeymoon in June. That is so exciting 🙂 I followed up by email and said I would email her some tips. But I guess it can be interesting for my readers who happen to want to go to Playa so I thought I would do a quick blog post on it. Continue reading “Playa Del Carmen a short guide of what to do”

The Atacama Desert Pictures

As promised here is more from Atacama. Click on the link below to see my Tabblo (20 pictures nicely organised and click able). The specialty about Tabblo is that it is a really cool way of presenting multiple pictures. The guests can then choose which picture they want to see and click through to the high resolution image. Most pictures were shot with a Nikon D90 in 4288 x 2848

Go to my Tabblo –>

Playa Del Carmen

Liz and I spent a few days in Playa Del Carmen Mexico at the beginning of 2009. We had been there in July of last year and I loved it. Liz has been there many times. She says the place is growing and too many tourists are coming. I agree….

This is how the beach greeted us on day one. We were shocked!!

BUT despite this welcoming we had an amazing time and really enjoyed Playa. All we needed to do is change the timing. The below picture was taken at 6.45 am. The sun rise was about 6 or so. It was wired we developed a rhythm which kept us away from the crowd even though we were not even trying that hard…