May 25, 2013
BA City Legislature approves reforms
The Buenos Aires City Legislature last night passed a controversial regulation on street peddling while peddlers gathered outside the downtown building to protest the bill. Lawmakers also passed a law to regulate the activity of informal car parkers, known as trapitos, and modified the law that makes the technical inspection of vehicles (VTV) mandatory in the City, in order to ensure that the government puts the rule into effect.
Last Thursday, the Legislature passed a change in the teachers’ statute, which sparked incidents with teaching unions. The long session was adjourned last week, and lawmakers resumed it yesterday on the last working day before the political term is over.
Other bills debated at press time last night included the creation of a sex offenders register, the concession of areas known as “under highway” (areas under the City highways 25 de Mayo, Perito Moreno, President Arturo Frondizi and President Arturo Illia) and the sale of several buildings which belong to the City government.
DYN news agency said 31 lawmakers voted in favour of punishing the street peddlers, while 29 voted against it. Before the session started, City Deputy Cristián Ritondo, leader of the centre-right PRO bloc, anticipated that the political blocs had reached an agreement to punish street peddlers, especially on Florida street. The ongoing conflict between shopkeepers and street peddlers worsened in the last few weeks when the owners of shops on Florida street staged roadblocks on the busy Corrientes avenue to report “unfair competition” and urged City Mayor Mauricio Macri to remove them. The bill entailed removing Article 83 of the City’s Misdemeanours Code, which states that street vending carried out “for mere survival” is not against the law. According to Ritondo, “the proposal is to set up stalls so that peddlers may settle there.”
PRO wanted the car parkers banned, but a bill to regulate them was approved.
The VTV law had originally been passed in 2006 but was never regulated; 44 lawmakers voted in favour and six against the law that obliges car owners to periodically check their vehicles. — Herald staff with news agencies