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News > Argentina

Macri's Recession so Bad No One Can Afford a Slice: 100s of Pizza Places Forced to Close

  • Argentines hold a banner reading 'Macri out and No to IMF' in Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 4, 2019.

    Argentines hold a banner reading 'Macri out and No to IMF' in Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 4, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 April 2019

The Buenos Aires' Association of Pizzeria Owners says the fall in pizza sales caused the closure of 7 percent of business.

Argentina's Association of Owners of Pizza Businesses and Empanada Houses (Appyce) says 400 of their 6,000 member shops went out of bussiness in the first quarter of 2019 as a result of the country's serious economic recession caused the current administration under President Mauricio Macri.

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About seven percent of Argentina's pizzerias closed their doors in the first four and a half months of 2018 due to sharp increases in rents, utilities and supply prices.

The average price of gas increased by 233 percent in 2018, elctrical services by 69 percent, and water by 26 percent. Real estate taxes soared by 27 percent. All these changes directly affected food, and pizza, production costs.

Argentina's out-of-control inflation rate that hit 54.7 percent in March, its highest since 1991, while high unemployment is forcing people to reduce their food intake, making it harder for even inexpensive Mom and Pop pizza and empanadas shops to keep their doors open.

Director of the Appyce's School of Professional Pizzamakers, Javier Labake says that sharing a pizza has been a "more accessible option" to the public than dining on steak. However, because of the devalued peso and slashing of over 73,000 jobs between December 2015 when Macri entered office and July 2018, people across the country can't even afford a slice. 

The value of the Argentine peso shrank by 50 percent last year due to the administration's selling off of pesos and dollar reserves, causing the cost of a cheese pizza to increase by 41 percent since April 2018.

"If someone asked me to define Mauricio Macri in a single word, the only one that comes to mind is: chaos, yes, Mauricio Macri is chaos and that is why I firmly believe that Argentina must be reordered."

"Flour increased by 200 percent, mozzarella by 55 percent, tomatoes by 80 percent and onions by 90 percent", Labake commented. "No magic can be done with such costs," he said to local media saying that consumers do not have money to pay higher prices for a pizza slice.

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