Argentina Proposes Natural Gas Increases After Court Block

Argentina proposed a smaller increase for natural gas prices as President Mauricio Macri seeks to win back trust of consumers who said the original hikes were too severe.

Under the proposal, prices will rise an average 203 percent for consumers across South America’s second-largest economy, Energy Minister Juan Jose Aranguren told reporters in Buenos Aires on Monday. The government will hold public hearings on Sept. 16 on the new price.

The Supreme Court ordered Macri’s government to halt increases of as much as 500 percent on bills for the fuel last month. That will make it harder for Macri to meet his goal of reducing a fiscal gap that became bloated during the previous administration because of subsidies on everything from cooking oil to fuel to transportation.

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