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THE WORLD | IN BRIEF / ARGENTINA

Austerity Bill Passes, Tamping Fear of Default

July 31, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

The Argentine government's key austerity bill was finally passed by Congress in a move seen as vital to quash fears of imminent default and help the economy out of crisis.

After an all-night debate, the opposition-dominated Senate approved the unpopular bill to end deficit spending and slash state salaries and some pensions by as much as 13%, in an eagerly awaited predawn vote.

International markets from London to New York initially rallied on the back of the belated passage of the bill, but those gains gradually receded as investors scoured for proof the measure will work.

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