Argentine civil servants in the central province of Córdoba have been given an early Christmas present: January off.

The idea is not exactly new – it was successfully employed in January this year, for example – but then neither is the cash crunch facing many Argentine provinces, which rely on the central government for key funds.

Córdoba, furthermore, is run by a governor, José Manuel de la Sota, with presidential aspirations in 2015, who has clashed in a high-profile fashion with Cristina Fernández, the president, and her government in recent months. Read more