La Rioja to issue first provincial currency of the Milei era

Governor Ricardo Quintela claims the move was forced by the ‘cruelty’ of the national government’s spending cuts

La Rioja is set to issue the first provincial currency of the Milei era. Known as the Debt Cancellation Bond (BOCADE, for its Spanish initials), it will begin circulating in 45 days. The decision to print a local tender was approved last month by the provincial legislature.  

The BOCADE will also be known as El Chacho due to the fact that the bills feature a picture of local strongman Ángel Vicente “Chacho” Peñaloza, one of the last federal leaders to rise up in arms against Buenos Aires centralism in the 19th century. The local currency will be issued in denominations of AR$1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 50,000. Total emissions will reach AR$15 billion.

According to the bill approved by the legislature, the provincial government must now reach an agreement with banks (either the Rioja Bank or other entities) on how to credit deposits in checking and savings accounts. 

The new law also forces the three branches of the state (local city governments, public companies, and other self-financing public organizations) to accept the provincial currency to make payments, either partially or in full. 

The governor blames the Milei administration

La Rioja governor Ricardo Quintela confirmed the issuing of the provincial currency and criticized the national government. “They are forcing us into this due to the speed, savagery, and cruelty of the spending cuts they have conducted over the last 20 days,” he said. 

“Because of this, when people went to get their paychecks, they already couldn’t make ends meet.”  

According to the governor, his administration is “forced” to promote the creation of a bond — the provincial currency — to “cover part of the salary” of government workers. 

In his remarks against the La Libertad Avanza (LLA) government, he claimed that there are also plans or programs meant to “destabilize” provincial governments by encouraging people to turn against local authorities. 

Originally published in / Translated by Agustín Mango


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