Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou said his country has a problem with prices in Argentine being so low due to a favorable exchange rate that people cross the border to do their shopping.
“We have a problem with Argentina because prices are extremely cheap,” Lacalle pointed out. “We have some problems in this regard in terms of competitiveness. Everyone, depending on the economist you talk to, will tell you how high the dollar should be, but it is true that we have a mismatch in that sense,” Lacalle stressed.
“We have a problem on the border because the prices of basic Argentine goods are extremely cheaper and naturally the residents of the coastal cities consume where it is cheaper for them,” he admitted.
“That generates an imbalance and above all the most affected are the businesses on our border. We have applied measures, but it is not enough because it is obviously difficult to keep pace with the Argentine economy and its peso-dollar ratio,” he told Buenos Aires’ Radio El Observador.
Asked about this year’s presidential elections in Argentina, Lacalle replied that “Whoever it is, we will try to get along as best as possible for the interests of our country; the better it is for Argentina and Brazil, the better it will be for the region and therefore for Uruguay.”
Regarding Argentine migrants choosing Uruguay as their country of destination, Lacalle insisted that “in the electoral campaign we said that our country needed 300 thousand more people and welcome are all the people who come to settle down and make the economy move.”
The President also spoke about his country’s labor union PIT-CNT’s proposal to cut down the working day from 44 to 40 hours: He said he did not think it was “adequate or practicable,” but “I would have no problem in discussing it.”