Argentina I

WHEREAS the Argentine press is experiencing a period of severe economic duress, due to the confluence of several factors that threaten its normal operations WHEREAS circulation and advertising revenues have fallen to alarmingly low levels in recent years, as a result of the protracted economic crisis that has hurt the entire country WHEREAS costs have risen to extremely high levels, due to the increase in imported supplies and equipment whose prices tripled as a result of the currency devaluation WHEREAS the various administrations that have led the country during this period have imposed increasingly strict conditions and intensified the already onerous tax pressures on media companies WHEREAS in 2000 it was decided to impose the value-added tax (VAT) on the cover price of newspapers and magazines, a measure that was partially mitigated by the so-called “Competitiveness Plans” and other similar programs until they ended last June WHEREAS Principle 7 of the Declaration of Chapultepec says, “Tariff and exchange policies, licenses for the importation of paper or news-gathering equipment, the assigning of radio and television frequencies and the granting or withdrawal of government advertising may not be used to reward or punish the media or individual journalists” THE MIDYEAR MEETING OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to join the Argentine press in asking the Argentine government for a thorough solution in the face of this troublesome situation to ask President Néstor Kirchner, pending the implementation of said solution, to reinstate the system whereby funds deposited as employer contributions are considered tax credits for VAT purposes.