Argentina’s economy continues to collapse

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Poverty in Argentina is currently 36% compared to around 26% in 2018. The figures are alarming, as inflation currently stands at 45% and is expected to increase during this year.

A crowd roamed the streets of all of central Buenos Aires in repudiation of official economic policy and in demand for a model based on production, industry and labor. Photo on page 12

The massive loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) comes with strict conditions, Argentina is required to commit to a strict zero-deficit budget for 2019 and must curb the actions of its central bank. The measures increased poverty levels by ten percent, while austerity hurt the poorest the most.

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Protests have become commonplace across the country.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Buenos Aires on Thursday to protest against the latest austerity measures approved by President Mauricio Macri. The protesters were joined by unions, small business owners and various activists from all parts of the country.

Cuts in subsidies for utilities such as electricity have made life more difficult for the ordinary Argentine, as the country’s economy suffers from high interest rates, a low peso and inflation rising. The results have been increased poverty, now one in three Argentines lives below the poverty line and homelessness is steadily increasing.

Extreme poverty in the capital alone is estimated to affect around 198,000 people.

The IMF estimated that Argentina’s economy fell 2.6 percent in 2018 and will fall another 1.6 percent in 2019, but believes there are “good prospects for a gradual recovery”.

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According to local media, Pagina 12, members of opposition parties have said that if they win in the presidential elections next October, they will renegotiate the $ 56.3 billion deal, which is the largest loan in IMF history.

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