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Argentina to modify executive powers provision in emergency economic bill

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 18 (Reuters) - An emergency economic bill presented to Argentina’s Congress this week will be modified in a bid to gain support by reducing the executive powers contained in the measure, lawmakers allied with President Alberto Fernandez said on Wednesday.

The government’s proposal seeks funds to bolster social spending as Fernandez’s new administration grapples with inflation of close to 55% and an economy expected to contract for a third straight year in 2020.

The “Social Solidarity and Production Reactivation” bill would also increase grains export taxes.

The proposed change is aimed at a provision that would have given the executive branch increased powers “to redesign” government departments. The new language “could help gain support among opposition lawmakers,” local financial newspaper El Cronista reported.

Lower House member Dario Martinez, of Fernandez’s Front of All party, proposed that the article granting those powers be removed from the bill, according to state news service Telam.

“We are working on this change”, lawmaker Jose Ignacio de Mendiguren told Reuters. (Reporting by Nicolar Misculin Writing by Hugh Bronstein Editing by Paul Simao)