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  • Aeronautics workers protest for labor and wage improvements in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 27. 2018.

    Aeronautics workers protest for labor and wage improvements in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 27. 2018. | Photo: EFE

Published 29 December 2018

Macri's government announced that there would be an increase to gas prices by 35%, transport costs by 40%, water costs by 50% and electricity bills by 55%.

In rejection of President Mauricio Macri's economic policies, Argentines took to social media networks to call for a protest, late Friday, to voice their displeasure with the administration.

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In Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, thousands of citizens took to the streets for a 'pot-banging protest'  or cacerolazo, which has recently become a symbol of social discontent against adjustment policies promoted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A few hours before the demonstration, Macri's government announced that there would be an increase to gas prices by 35%, transport costs by 40%, water costs by 50% and electricity bills by 55%.

"Now a strong pot-banging in different corners of the Capital City against increases of light, gas, water, and transport rates."

According to ADN91.7, an Argentine media, the announcements were not well-received by citizens who have already been dissatisfied with the country's economic debacle.

According to the current trend, Argentina’s economy would have shrunk at an annual rate of 2% at the end of 2018, an output contraction that will be accompanied by inflation of 50%.

To overcome this 'recession plus inflation' outlook, President Macri requested an IMF bailout worth of US$57 billion. The financial support, however, requires a reduction to the government's deficit through the elimination of subsidies for basic services.

The effects of the austerity policies are also reflected within Macri's administration. After the announcement of an increase in electricity tariffs, Argentina's Secretary of Energy, Javier Iguacel, submitted his resignation.

"Macri's administration has a policy that assaults 75% of the population... the middle class can no longer bear this policy of looting," Jorge Taiana, a deputy of the Mercosur Parliament, told El Intransigente.

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