Argentine senate approves central bank chief

Argentine lawmakers have approved the 2003 budget and ratified the new central bank chief Alfonso Prat-Gay, helping President Eduardo Duhalde's efforts to secure an aid agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

The government also announced that the national unemployment rate fell to 17.8 per cent, down nearly four percentage points from its highest rate ever, registered in May.

The Senate passed the legislation after less than two hours of debate, showing few signs of the political infig