Conflicts & War

Thousands of Argentinians march for more aid, employment

Buenos Aires, Aug 18 (EFE).- Thousands of protesters marched on Wednesday in Buenos Aires and other parts of Argentina to demand job creation and an increase in social aid to combat rising poverty.

The capital’s march, called by social organizations and which blocked the public highway due to its size, ended at the Ministry of Social Development in the center of Buenos Aires.

This is the first mass demonstration since the new minister of social development, Juan Zabaleta, took office just a week ago.

Demonstrations have increased this year in Argentina in the face of its economic crisis, deepened by the Covid-19 pandemic and ahead of primary elections on Sep. 12.

Argentina recorded a year-on-year inflation of 51.8 percent in July, a drop in employment, and poverty that had already risen to 42 percent in the second half of 2020 after the economy suffered the second biggest drop since 2001 last year of 9.9 percent, accumulating three years in recession.

The protesters demanded an increase in the amounts and quotas of social aid paid by the government, but also the creation of genuine employment, public works plans, improved pensions, increased funding for soup kitchens and housing programs.

“What we have come to demand the most is jobs for our fellows,” the national leader of the Young Independent Revolutionary Workers movement, Daniel Jaime, told Efe.

“We want social plans to be cut, we know that it is not a deserving salary,” he added.

However, Jaime indicated that they also went to “demand social plans” to assist people who are in poverty, so that the promise made by the Ministry of Development that has not yet materialized is fulfilled.

“We await the response of the new minister,” Jaime said, since Zabaleta said that he was going to meet with the social movements.

Zabaleta has told the press the challenge he faces to transform social plans into employment.

The minister of social development reported that he met on Tuesday with Economy Minister Martín Guzmán, with whom he spoke “about the need to associate the transfer of income to training and work” and about “the importance of investing in infrastructure in popular neighborhoods.”

Demonstrations also took place in the provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro, Corrientes, Chubut, Santiago del Estero, Santa Cruz, Tucumán and San Juan. EFE


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