Mar de Plata. Source: Diario de Turismo

The countdown has begun, and it’s okay to feel a bit nervous. There are only two days left for the Government to decide whether or not the 2018 calendar will have one, two, or three bridge holidays. , Because if the deadline expires, these bridge holidays can no longer be applied in the next calendar year, and we may be left with none.

On October 18th of this year, Law 27,399 brought back bridge holidays with the purpose of promoting tourism within the country. Even though they were technically approved by law, their use is optional. And as a result of that, everything is now tied to the Executive’s decision to apply them or not. According to Article 7 of the law, it is detailed that “the National Executive Power must establish them fifty days before the end of the calendar year.” Well, now those fifty days are almost over, nothing is happening, and it is OK to start freaking out a bit.

The deadline is this Saturday, November 11th. According to sources of the Interior Ministry consulted by Clarín, since the Official Bulletin, which makes government resolutions official by announcing them to the public, is not published on weekends, it could take two or more days for the actual resolution to go public. So, even though the resolution could be published the latest by Monday the 13th, the actual decision cannot be dated beyond the 11th.

The Law states the President can choose up to three bridge holidays in the calendar year. One alternative analyzed was to use this law to define not only 2018’s holidays, but to use it to plan for the following two years. In doing so, this would give levels of predictability in the calendar for tour companies to establish tourism deals, and for consumers to plan out vacations.

The possible 2018 calendar according to the new law. Source: Clarín
The possible 2018 calendar according to the new law. Source: Clarín

Moreover, the Law determines the Executive Branch may establish the bridge holidays on a random Monday or Friday, to generate new long weekends throughout the year. Another option would be attaching bridge holidays to already existing holidays to create an extra-extra long weekend.

President Macri promised he would get rid of the bridge holidays in his presidential campaign, and reiterated the promise once in office. At the time, the Government justified the measure by arguing it would make it easier to in comply with the 180 days of class students need to have every year, as well as helping helping the economy, boost its productivity. The line of thought was clear: more days of work equals more production.

However,  Misiones deputy Maurice Closs presented an initiative to bring them back after only one year of not having them, arguing that for the need to “return to a flexible system that allows recovering the possibility of having more holidays that encourages the activity of domestic tourism.”

But if nothing happens before this Saturday, all of these possibilities may get thrown in the trash. The decision on the subject, as explained to Clarín, is in the Legal and Technical office, and has yet to be disclosed.

Please Legal and Technical office, don’t let us down.