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BAUEN, day 65

But the BAUEN was not among the thirteen, nor those added later. Federico Tonarelli, explains that, “like the expropriation bills that were approved for Chilavert, Grissinópoli, Ghelco, or the Patricio Print Shop, the BAUEN’s, presented by Diego Kravetz, was also for temporary occupancy of two years.” The bill, number 1505, was presented June 16th, 2005, and co-sponsored by legislators Ana Suppa, Mónica Bianchi, Silvia La Ruffa, Fernando Cantero, Fernando Melillo, Sergio Molina, Daniel Betti, Milcíades Peña, and Arturo Floreal, who represented different blocs. The panorama was not as favorable as it had been not long before, because in the elections of 2003 (and again in 2005), the bloc with the most growth was Macri’s right-wing party.

This first bill declared the property and its facilities, furniture, and intangibles (including the brands and patents) to be of public utility and subject to expropriation for two years. Also, it immediately granted temporary occupancy of the hotel to the cooperative “formed by the former workers of Solari SA” as long as they maintained economic use of the property. The payment of the severance was extracted (“compensated”) from the total debt Solari’s business had with the GCBA.

“As the volume of the BAUEN as a business was much bigger than prior cases, under Macri, seeing that Kravetz pushed temporary expropriation, they started working on an alternative bill,” explains Tonarelli. “As there was no alternative bill–a bill could not be presented for it to not be expropriated–Morando came up with a bill known as the “Morando Law.”

Mario Morando was one of the deputies of the PRO, which was still a party that existed only in the City of Buenos Aires, and which had almost won the election for Head of Government in 2003, when Mauricio Macri lost the second round against Aníbal Ibarra. But that election gave him political strength in the district, which would grow in the following years until his triumph in the Buenos Aires elections of 2007.

By that time, the confrontation between the cooperative workers and the Iurcoviches and their allies was reaching unseen levels. The political climate of the city was changing, not only because of the fall of Ibarra after Cromagnon, but because of the steady growth of the PRO and the simultaneous fall of the dominant progressivism and of the parties and options on the left, which, in the prior legislature (the one elected in 2001) had managed to build an important, if fragmented, bloc of seventeen deputies. Approving expropriation laws after the change in the composition of forces in the Legislature turned out to be more and more difficult.


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