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Hundreds of Argentinian farmers protest poor working conditions

5 November 2016 13:18

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Hundreds of Argentinian farmers have staged a protest march in the nation’s capital of Buenos Aires, demanding better working conditions and more governmental assistance.

People attending the protest rally outside the Casa Rosada government house on Friday also voiced concern about a range of other issues, including hunger and lack of labor flexibility for production, land, housing and small and medium producers.

The protesting farmers, who donated vegetables to highlight their poor working conditions and demand help from the government, are reportedly seeking to bring their demands to several ministerial delegations and secretariats.

“We have been fighting a long time for the restitution of the land of small producers, and lands of indigenous peoples,” said Roberto Solano, a representative of the National Peasant Farmers Federation.

“Today we are present here to tell this government of (President Mauricio) Macri, we do not want him to forget us small producers, because that is what he is doing, he is opening for imports and we can’t survive with the production we have here,” he added.

Key demands for the sector revolve around the regulation of minimum and maximum prices for small farmers, soft loans for the same payment facilities, and a land policy for the access of small producers, farmers and original communities.

Strikes and other labor protest actions across Argentina have become ordinary since Macri took office, as high inflation has led to wage increase demands from workers wary of losing purchasing power.

His administration has faced a series of protests in recent months as frustration intensifies over the economy.

Macri was elected into office late last year on a platform of attracting international investment and stimulating growth by ditching the heavy market controls established by the previous center-left government.

The president claims he is ridding Latin America’s number three economy of distortions caused by the interventionist policies of his predecessor, Cristina Fernandez. The economy, however, continues to shrink and inflation remains in the double digits.

Inflation was expected to stand at 40.2 percent in 2016, one of highest in the world, and 19.4 percent in 2017.

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