Scuffles erupted between protesters during a mass rally against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Buenos Aires, as IMF officials arrived for debt restructuring talks with the Argentine government, on Wednesday.
Footage filmed in the South American country shows protesters chanting, holding banners and signs, as they marched blocking bridges to the city. A mock-figure depicting the famous image of US Uncle Sam was also set ablaze.
“Today all the effort of the Argentinian people does not have to go to a single peso to pay those speculators [IMF],” Juan Carlos Alderete a Classist and Combative Current (CCC) member said addressing protesters.
He added, “of the 44 billion dollars that the fund lent from 2018 to 2019, 37 billion dollars were missing, we must review who the officials have been.”
“We are here rejecting the IMF’s entering Argentina again, once more taking our wealth and condemning the people to more hunger, more misery and more unemployment, that is why we are saying no to the IMF in Argentina”, explained protester Mercedes Martinez.
“We reject the payment and recognition of the debt, but we also reject interior agents, because the Monetary Fund has internal allies who are willing to pay, such as the Fernandez government itself”, added fellow protester Roberto Martino, who was angry at the current government’s failure to declare its position on debt repayment.
An IMF team delegation led by Kristalina Georgieva arrived to Buenos Aires on Wednesday to discuss the economic programme of President Alberto Fernandez’s government. Although the visit was expected to last three days, it was announced that IMF representatives will stay in the country for a week.