Hundreds of people marched Thursday through downtown Buenos Aires to demand more government action for the poorest and to protest against the involvement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Argentina.
“The debt is with the people, not with the IMF,” read one enormous banner at the front of the crowd.
This was the first protest since Sunday’s elections, won by Alberto Fernández, the Peronist leading the Frente de Todos coalition and a firm critic of the IMF's record US$57-billion credit-line with the country.
Carrying flags and beating drums, the demonstrators walked a few blocks until they reached the IMF offices, not far from the Obelisk.
“Each time, there are more of us in the streets mobilising because there isn’t work and each time there is more hunger in Argentina. We say that the money we owed to the IMF should come from the debt that the capitalists and banks owe to the IMF, not from the working people, Maria Aguilar, one of the demonstrators, said to AFP.
“There are priorities and the priority for our country now is that the poor stop being poor [...]," protester Esteban Marcioni said.
Until now, the IMF has given US$44 billion of its planned credit-line, but it hasn’t disbursed the next US$5.4 billion due in September, preferring to wait to talk to the incoming government.
With debts that reach US$315 billion, approaching 100 percent of the GDP, Fernández will need restructure debt as soon as he assumes the presidency on December 10.