Thousands of Argentineans hold anti-government rally in Buenos Aires

March 31, 2017 4:00 pm
Thousands of Argentineans
have poured into the streets of the capital, , to express
their dissatisfaction with President Mauricio Macri’s economic policies.

Demonstrators
waved banners and national flags and blocked traffic along the main
avenues of Buenos Aires during the Thursday march, which had been
organized by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) and backed by
other unions.
The protesters also burned an effigy of Macri and
chanted slogans against his government’s policies. They said they held
the rally to oppose what they called dictatorship.
Those who took
part in the march argued that workers were being indiscriminately fired
and people were losing their purchasing power. The protesters also asked
for the protection of national industry, urging government officials to
raise salaries, stop lay-offs, and contain inflation.
A group of
immigrants also took part in the march to protest against a recent
presidential decree that changed deportation procedures, making it much
easier to turn away or deport immigrants.
Thousands of teachers
also took to the streets of the capital on Wednesday and Thursday as
part of a two-day national strike demanding a 35-percent wage increase
to keep pace with inflation. 

Teachers march during a nationwide strike demanding pay rises, in Buenos Aires, , March 6, 2017. (Photo by AFP)Tens
of thousands of state employees have been fired since Macri took office
in 2015. He had vowed to reduce spending and consumer prices.
While
Macri’s policies have led to massive protests in the country, he says
the measures are needed to revive Argentina’s weak economy, attract
investments, and end alleged economic failures by his predecessor,
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Lawmakers
hold signs reading “I saw you getting the country back in debt again”
in messages addressed to the President Macri, at the parliament in
Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 1, 2017. (Photo by Reuters) Upcoming
congressional elections are seen as crucial for Macri. His “Let’s
Change” coalition needs a strong showing in the October polls for him to
steam ahead with the free-market policy reforms.
Meanwhile, the country’s largest labor union has called a general strike for April 6.

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