With the highest inflation in 30 years, Argentines protest against high prices and better pensions

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On the day that Argentina registered the highest inflation in the last 30 years, at 58% in 12 months, the Plaza de Mayo, an iconic place of protest in Buenos Aires, was filled with protesters. Many came from different parts of the country in groups of social organizations, unions or independently.

With banners calling for an end to hunger, better salary conditions and decent work, protesters are demanding measures to reduce inflation – now the second highest in Latin America, after only Venezuela – and more social spending on assistance plans and pensions for the retired.

Since the beginning of the afternoon, several blocks in the center of the city had traffic blocked due to the movement of participants, who came with flags, posters and the sound of drums.

This Thursday (12) the Indec (Argentine IBGE) recorded that the country’s interannual inflation, in 12 months, reached 58%. In April, the rise in the cost of living for Argentines was 6% – what pushed the cost of living the most were the prices of food and clothing.

According to a survey by Management & Fit, inflation is now the main concern of 43.4% of Argentines. In 2020, this share represented 9.9%. The same study revealed that 71.9% of people believe that Argentina is worse off than it was a year ago. “The consideration that inflation is the main concern of society is today the only issue that crosses society, it does not matter if the person supports the government or not, they are concerned with inflation, it is the most transversal issue for Argentines today “, says Mariel Fornoni, responsible for the consultancy that carried out the survey.

Martín, 24, came from the province of Salta with a group of unemployed people, who wore the red ponchos typical of the region. “We came to see us, the pandemic has ended work in our province, there is no more tourism, many businesses have failed, and prices continue to rise,” he said.

Macarena, 52, who came from Quilmes, in the province of Buenos Aires, is asking for “price control or a salary increase. I earn 40,000 pesos a month and I have three children. It can’t be that a kilo of meat costs 2,000 pesos.” “.

The leader of Polo Obrero, a workers’ social organization, said that “if the government continues on this path, it will break. These people will not continue to put up with the situation that the workers are experiencing. If we are not listened to, the struggle will deepen and will be forced to do something,” he said.

“I spend the day looking for a job, I come home exhausted and I see in the political programs that they are discussing who will be a candidate for the 2023 elections. It can’t be. Nahuel, 44, who came to the march from Flores.

President Alberto Fernández, on a trip to Europe, said in an interview with Spanish TV that he will run for re-election in 2023. “It sounds like a joke,” comments Nahuel. On inflation, the president only said, when he found out about the result released this Thursday, that it “does not conform to current rates”.

In a television program on Wednesday night (11), the minister of the economy, Martín Guzmán, affirmed that inflation has some “external components”, such as the war in Europe, and also said the divisions within the government alliance itself. are one of the reasons for not giving more concrete answers. He refers to the internal conflict that exists between the president and his vice president, Cristina Kirchner.

“Inflation has to be tackled decisively and consistently. That the problem can be resolved in a lasting way and not immediately. This cannot be done in five minutes. It requires a lot of strength in the implementation of an economic program”, stated Guzmán.

The only concrete action to try to reduce prices was the freezing attempts imposed by the secretary of commerce. Guzmán considers that this resource alone is not enough.

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