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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Peronists: Cut State Spending

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- A group of Argentine senators from the ruling Peronist Party presented Wednesday a plan to slash government spending, blamed by many as a root cause of a deep recession in its fourth year.

The proposal submitted to new President Eduardo Duhalde seeks to cut the number of seats in the lower house of Congress to 152 from 257 and reduce the number of senators to 48 from 72, according to a copy of the document.

The senators also proposed a "50 percent reduction in the number of political appointees" and reducing the number of Supreme Court judges to five from nine.

The proposal did not detail how much money could be saved from such an initiative.

Economists say chronic government overspending is at the heart of Argentina's long financial crisis, which has led the government to default on part of its $141 billion debt and devalue the peso by nearly 30 percent.

A Peronist legislative source said that "the course was clear" to go ahead with the plan as a way to ease the "popular discontent" with government that sparked violent street protests and brought down two presidents last month.