Buenos Aires, Argentina.- With the latest monthly inflation report above 7 percent, the highest in the last two decades, the main labor union in the country and close to the Peronist government of Alberto Fernández mobilized on Wednesday in Buenos Aires to protest against businessmen ” price makers and speculators”.
This was the first demonstration led by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) in the three years of Fernández’s presidency. With historical ties to Peronism, the entity clarified that the street call was not against the Government, although it did call attention to the lack of effective measures to stop the rise in prices.
The leader of the truckers’ union, Pablo Moyano, treated the country’s most powerful businessmen, grouped in the Argentine Business Association (AEA), as “criminals” and asked President Fernández: “Put what you have to put, sit down with these guys Apply what you have to do. We cannot continue with this level of inflation.”
Inflation in July was 7.4 percent, while the year-on-year rate climbed to 71 percent, which places Argentina as one of the countries with the highest inflation in the world.
Analysts project a price rise of more than 90 percent by 2022 and it is not ruled out that it will reach three digits if the government does not get the measures right after the change in the Ministry of Economy.
“We are going to continue in the streets defending the government but also denouncing these sons of (…) who take a plate of food from the workers,” trade unionist Moyano challenged during a brief speech on an improvised stage in the middle of the street.
The trucker leader also called on the government “a bonus for colleagues who do not make ends meet” and to keep open the paritarias, the mechanism for negotiating wages between unions and employers with the mediation of the Ministry of Labor.
The rise in prices -particularly in food- is exacerbating the poverty that already affects about 40 percent of the population, of some 47 million inhabitants, while at the same time eroding the wages of the middle sectors.
The employers’ chambers maintain that their profit margin is negligible due to the tax burden and wages and that economic instability makes any investment plan unfeasible.
The different columns of the unions that make up the CGT mobilized from the Obelisk, in the center of the capital, to Congress without incident, although vehicular traffic in the area collapsed.
“There is financial speculation by those who want to obtain great profits with a devaluation and political speculation by those who want the population with water up to their noses to obtain an electoral victory in 2023,” said Héctor Daer, one of the the general secretaries of the CGT, in reference to the main opposition force, Together for Change.
In contrast to the support of the CGT for the Government, the most combative unions and leftist parties mobilized in the afternoon in the historic Plaza de Mayo against the “adjustment of the Government” and in demand of an immediate increase in wages, pensions and health plans. social.
Economists and the Government itself project a similar inflation for August due to the impact of the rise in public transport and gas and electricity rates, which lagged behind inflation and receive millionaire subsidies from the State.
The day before, the Ministry of Economy presented the plan to cut subsidies to public services -one of the conditions imposed by the International Monetary Fund to refinance a loan for 45 billion dollars- which will imply an immediate removal of this benefit to the sectors higher-income and more progressive for middle-income households.
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