BUENOS AIRES – An Argentine federal prosecutor on Tuesday called for President Mauricio Macri and Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay to be investigated for abuse of power over a decree that allowed immediate family of government officials to participate in a tax amnesty program.
Prosecutor Guillermo Marijuan called for the probe after a complaint was filed by leftist lawmaker Victoria Donda, the Telam official news agency said.
The tax amnesty program, proposed in May by Macri’s government and approved by Congress with the aim of recovering at least $20 billion in undeclared funds held in bank accounts or security vaults overseas, originally excluded direct family members of government officials.
But in a decree signed on Nov. 30, Macri’s administration allowed these individuals to be included in the program if they had obtained the assets in question before their relatives took public office.
Taxes collected on the repatriated funds, which the government said in May would be as high as 15 percent, will be used to settle debts with pensioners.
The complaint filed by Donda, from the Freemen of the South Movement leftist political alliance, said Macri’s decree explicitly contradicted the tax amnesty law, which prohibited the inclusion of members of the three branches of government and their immediate family.
“It stunned all of us legislators who participated in the debates because that prohibition was included at the explicit request of lawmaker Felipe Sola, who rightly suspected that the (amnesty) could protect officials from the current or previous government who may have evaded taxes or laundered ill-begotten funds,” Donda added.