(Adds transport minister quote, background)
BUENOS AIRES, March 6 Argentina will delay
approval of Avianca Holdings SA's entry into the
local market until a new norm governing business conflicts of
interest is approved, Transportation Minister Guillermo Dietrich
said on Monday.
Last week, a federal prosecutor asked a judge for permission
to investigate President Mauricio Macri and others over
allegations he favored the Colombian airline in a plan to open
more routes. His father's company sold another airline to
Avianca last year.
"Regarding Avianca, we have decided to tie the approval
process to a new rule that will be published soon and seeks to
prevent possible conflict of interest," Dietrich told a news
At the start of the month, Macri vowed to issue decrees to
crack down on conflicts of interest as prosecutors push to
investigate his family's business ties, including the deal
between Avianca and the president's father.
The elder Macri, Franco, is one of Argentina's richest men.
Last month, the president was criticized over a deal his
government reached to resolve a 15-year old debt the postal
service incurred when it was owned by Franco Macri, with
prosecutors claiming the deal benefited his family.
The president said at the time that the deal had been
handled legally, but apologized for a lack of transparency and
revoked the agreement.
(Reporting by Luc Cohen; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; editing by
Grant McCool and Jonathan Oatis)