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  • Argentine unions, small firms and activists march near Argentina's Congress to demand changes in President Mauricio Macri's economic policies.

    Argentine unions, small firms and activists march near Argentina's Congress to demand changes in President Mauricio Macri's economic policies. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 April 2019

Argentina's economy continues on a spiral downwards with no end in sight.

Poverty in Argentina is currently at 36 percent from around 26 percent in 2018. The numbers are alarming, as inflation currently stands at 45 percent and is expected to increase within this year. 

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The massive IMF loan came with strict conditions, Argentina is required to commit to a strict zero-deficit budget for 2019 and has to curb the actions of its Central Bank. The measures have increased poverty levels by ten percent, while austerity has hurt those on the bottom the most. 

Protests have become a common sight across the country. Friday, thousands of people took to the streets in Buenos Aires to protest against the most recent austerity measures that were approved by President Mauricio Macri. Protesters were joined by unions, small business owners and various activists from every part of the country. 

Subsidy cuts for utilities such as electricity have made life harder for the regular Argentinian, while the country's economy suffers from high interest rates, a weak peso and rising inflation. The results have been an increase in poverty, now one in three Argentines lives below the poverty line and homelessness increases steadily. Extreme poverty in the capital alone, is estimated to affect around 198,000 people. 

The IMF estimated Argentina's economy fell by 2.6 percent in 2018 and will drop another 1.6 percent in 2019, yet believe there are “good prospects for a gradual recovery.”

According to a local media outlet, Pagina 12, opposition party members have said that if they win in next October’s presidential elections they will renegotiate the US$56.3 billion deal, which is the biggest loan in IMF’s history.

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