Ten arrested, several hurt at Buenos Aires anti-austerity march

Ten arrested, several hurt at Buenos Aires anti-austerity march
Ten arrested, several hurt at Buenos Aires anti-austerity march

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Police use a water cannon as demonstrators protest against Argentine President Javier Milei's economic plan, and in demand of resources for soup kitchens and assistance, in Buenos Aires April 10, 2024. — Reuters pic

BUENOS AIRES, April 11 — Argentine police arrested 10 people at a Buenos Aires anti-austerity protest yesterday that left several injured in clashes.

Hundreds of demonstrators angry about social spending cuts hurled stones at police, who responded with water cannons, pepper spray and rubber bullets.

“We arrested 10 people. We have eight injured policemen and two injured journalists, which we regret, it is a pity,” said Jorge Macri, head of government for the city of Buenos Aires.

An AFP reporter witnessed at least half a dozen people being treated for injuries at the protest.

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“We were protesting against the... shortage of food at soup kitchens, and what we got was sticks and bullets,” 46-year-old Martin Velazquez, who works at a food bank, told AFP.

Government aid to soup kitchens was stopped in December, after self-declared anarcho-capitalist President Javier Milei took office.

His government has also slashed transport and energy subsidies. Wage earners have lost a fifth of their purchasing power amid annual inflation exceeding 270 per cent.

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Today, almost six out of 10 Argentines are living in poverty, according to figures from the Pontifical Catholic University’s Social Debt Observatory — a significant jump from 49 per cent measured when Milei took office.

One of the new government’s first measures was to tighten protest laws by prohibiting demonstrators from impeding traffic, as they sought to do yesterday until police stepped in.

Four months into Milei’s government, street demonstrations are a near-daily occurrence in the capital.

Protesters are also angry at a new wave of dismissals announced by the government last week that will see 15,000 public servants lose their jobs.

Popular support for Milei hovers between 43 and 57 per cent, just slightly lower than it was when he was elected. — AFP

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