Argentines protest IMF loan, price hikes

BUENOS AIRES, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Argentina's union members took to the streets of the capital Buenos Aires on Monday to protest government loan negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and price hikes of public utilities.

They expressed the concern that the IMF will bail out the South American country only if the government agrees to impose strict austerity measures to rein in public spending. Protesters gathered around noon at the city's Plaza Lavalle for a march.

The march was called by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), the Argentine Confederation of Transport Workers (CATT) and the National Youth Union (JSN), in protest over the "current socioeconomic crisis," organizers said in a statement.

Following two weeks of currency devaluation to successive record lows against the U.S. dollar, the Argentine government applied for a credit line from the IMF estimated to be between 20 billion and 30 billion U.S. dollars.

On Monday, the exchange rate was at over 25 pesos for one dollar.

[ Editor: WPY ]


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