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ARGENTINA | 25-09-2018 05:35

Anger before the shutdown: protest paves way for general strike

Tens of thousands of people marched through the capital yesterday ahead of today's general strike, called as a rejection of the austerity budget that President Mauricio Macri says is needed to secure IMF funds.

Tens of thousands of people marched through the capital yesterday ahead of today's general strike, called as a rejection of the austerity budget that President Mauricio Macri says is needed to secure IMF funds.

Macri said Monday that crisis-hit Argentina will receive additional funding from the International Monetary Fund and vowed to avoid a default.

Banging drums and waving banners that read "No to the IMF," marchers converged on the Plaza de Mayo in front of the Casa Rosada.

"Mauricio Macri has stopped governing Argentina! Every measure he takes he has to consult the IMF," said one of the marchers, Joaquin Noya.

On the streets, teacher's union member Sonia Alessio said: "We are against the adjustment of Macri, against the adjustment of the IMF, particularly as teachers are fighting for more budget funds for education."

On Monday, some public services, like schools, hospitals and public administration offices, had already shut down ahead of today's general strike.

Public transport was expected to grind to a halt, banks will remain shut and air traffic controllers will suspend activity. 

Airlines were working to reschedule flights.

Production and Labor Minister Dante Sica regretted the timing of the strike, saying Argentina was in a period "when economic activity is still falling and we have to start recovering it."

He told reporters the government would "keep open channels for dialogue" with the unions.

- AFP

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