Argentine workers and students march against “hunger budget”
27 October 2018
In the early hours of Thursday morning, following an 18-hour debate that unfolded amid violent clashes outside the national legislature, the lower house of Argentina’s Congress approved a draconian austerity budget that will slash public spending by US$10 billion. The vote was 138 in favor to 103 against.
The austerity budget had been demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), together with other attacks on jobs and social benefits, as the price for a rescue operation for the heavily indebted Argentine government. The IMF has pledged US$57 billion over three years to balance government finances, with the lion’s share of the funding going into the coffers of Argentine and international finance capital.
On Wednesday, October 25, tens of thousands marched on the national legislature carrying banners repudiating President Maurico Macri’s proposed austerity budget and the IMF. Striking teachers, health care workers, workers from Buenos Aires’ industrial suburbs and students denounced the measure as “the hunger budget” and joined the protest march, opposing the proposed measure and demanding a wage re-opener to break through the government-imposed 15 percent increase (according to one estimate, prices are set to rise over 40 percent this year) and the dollarization of the economy.
On Tuesday, protesters began congregating in the vicinity of Argentina’s national congress building in anticipation of the debate and vote on the budget.
The Evita Movement (Peronist), The People’s Economic Federation (CTEP, Peronist), the Fighting Class Movement (Stalinist-Maoist), and The Darío Santillán Popular Front (left populist), plus groups representing the unemployed and…