Tens of thousands of Argentines march against Macri amid crisis

A massive demonstration against the neo-liberal president Mauricio Macri copied the center of Buenos Aires on Wednesday, in demand for better salaries and food aid for the lower class, the most affected by the acute economic crisis that shakes Argentina.

Protester next to a banner that says

Protester next to a banner that says "Out Macri Ya" at the Central Bank of Argentina. / Via REUTERS

Reuters | Nicolás Misculin

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Leer en español: Decenas de miles de argentinos marchan contra Macri en medio de crisis

Left-wing parties and organizations that nurture the poor clogged the wide 9 de Julio Avenue with flags and banners, at the foot of the emblematic obelisk, where they could settle indefinitely, according to protesters.

"Salary increase now! The debt is with the people, not with the IMF (International Monetary Fund)," one of the non-governmental organizations that called the protest called on its website.

The demonstration took place amid aggravation of the crisis in Argentina, after the collapse of the peso produced in August triggered inflation expectations for 2019 at 55%, according to a survey by the central bank.

In 2018, the country obtained from the IMF a loan of 57,000 million dollars to deal with the shortage of investment in the midst of a recession and already high inflation.

But the country's difficulties worsened in August after the crushing defeat that Macri suffered in the primary elections against the Peronist opposition of the center-left, which left the candidate preferred by the markets with virtually no chance of being reelected.

The fear of investors that the Peronist Alberto Fernández reinstates extensive regulations on the economy - as his formula partner, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, applied during his tenure - generated uncertainty in the markets.

Also read: Desperate, Argentines make long lines to get savings from banks

While poverty is growing and already affects more than a third of the population, according to some studies, Argentine teachers announced a general strike on Thursday.

After the announcement of foreign exchange controls over the weekend, Argentina's fears of a banking crisis intensified, although local financial markets have shown marked ups and downs this week.

The Argentine peso barely gained 0.14% on Wednesday at 55.90 units per dollar, after advancing 5.4% on Tuesday, although it accumulates a collapse around 19% since the primary.

The country risk fell 135 units to 2,388 basis points and the Buenos Aires stock market rose 2.3% for opportunity purchases, against the sharp drop of 11.9% on the eve.