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Old Dec 20th, 2002, 06:24 AM   #1
CHOCO
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Exclamation Thousands of Poor, Jobless Argentines Stage Protest March in Buenos Aires

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Argentina.




Demonstrators place in the fire a mask of Argentinian President Eduardo Duhalde as they march in downtown Buenos Aires



Thousands of Poor, Jobless Argentines Stage Protest March in Buenos Aires
VOA News
19 Dec 2002, 20:35 UTC


Demonstrators place in the fire a mask of Argentinian President Eduardo Duhalde as they march in downtown Buenos Aires
Thousands of poor and jobless Argentines have marched in Buenos Aires to show their discontent with years of economic turmoil in the South American nation.

The banner-waving protesters rallied Thursday as police guarded the city's main government buildings as well as banks and other symbols associated with Argentina's economic decline.

The street rallies kicked off two days of demonstrations timed to coincide with the first anniversary of deadly riots that toppled the elected government of President Fernando de la Rua.

At least 27 people died in the three days of rioting and looting that swept Argentina last December as the economy unraveled amid a prolonged recession.

The political turmoil triggered a succession of five presidents in two weeks and forced Argentina to default on $151 billion in public debt.

Argentina has been seeking billions of dollars in aid from the International Monetary Fund, which cut off critical aid to the country last December, citing fiscal irresponsibility. The IMF has conditioned future aid on Argentina's development of a viable economic plan.

Argentina also blames IMF policies for its inability to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars owed to the World Bank. Last week, Argentina announced it will not be able to make a debt payment of $726 million to the bank.

The government in Buenos Aires says the World Bank will be paid once an agreement with the IMF is concluded.
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