A coalition of unions, social movements and political organization marched Wednesday towards the Argentinian Ministry of Social Development in the capital, Buenos Aires, to demand a salary raise that can match the high inflation rates in the South American country.
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According to local media, over 200,000 Argentines protested in Buenos Aires, but there were also protests in several cities of Argentina, all of them under the "Land, Housing and Work" slogan. The Argentine social movements protest against the economic policies implemented by the government, under the influence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The round of protests was mainly summoned by the Classist and Combative Current (CCC), the Confederation of Workers of the Popular Economy (CTEP), Barrios de Pie and the Darío Santillán Popular Front.
"If we don’t win the streets, the IMF will beat us and our homeland will be destroyed," stated Hugo Godoy, Secretary-General of the National Workers of the State Association (ATE). The social movements are attacking the decisions made by the government of Mauricio Macri, which have risen the number of people living in poverty by implementing neoliberal and IMF-mandated economic policies.
"The national government has taken the decision to deepen an adjustment process (austerity policies) and to save $ 470 billion pesos that will weigh on the backs of workers throughout Argentina," wrote the organizations on the manifesto released in order to call for the demonstrations.
According to the statement the high inflation rates hit the hardest in "the poorest and most humble sectors," and they are left with "more hunger and poverty because thousands of families can not afford to eat every day." Adding that the government needs to face the situation with public social "policies for the most affected sector."
Macri's government has been criticized for its economic policies, which have increased the number of poor people after cutting public investment in social programs, amid inflation and devaluation of the peso against the dollar.
The mobilizations will continue in the South American country to oppose the neoliberal policies imposed, the next protest is scheduled for February 26. "We are going to defend our country and the Argentine democracy for our people," stated Godoy.