Argentines mark 15th anniversary of economic crisis

Parties and organizations of the Argentine left staged a march on Tuesday to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the start of an economic crisis that led to the toppling of a president and Great Depression levels of poverty and unemployment in the South American nation.

But the protest was not just about the events of 2001, as participants also blasted the economic policies of the current right-wing government.

To the sound of a drum, marchers chanted slogans demanding abolition of taxes on wages, an end to layoffs and the cancelation of this year’s massive increases in utility rates.

“There are ever more workers in the black economy,” Socialist Left leader and union activist Monica Schlotthauer told EFE.

The people who turned out for Tuesday’s march are against “all the economic measures” announced by the administration of President Mauricio Macri, she said.

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Argentine cities in December 2001 after then-President Fernando De la Rua imposed severe limits on how much cash people could withdraw from their bank accounts.

On Dec. 19, 2001, De la Rua declared a state of emergency, but the unrest only grew and on the night of Dec. 20, he abandoned the presidential palace by helicopter.

The disturbances left some 40 people dead nationwide.

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