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Argentines have difficulties to survive, due to hyperinflation and the increase in rates

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The cold hits hard on José Antonio Cabrera Avenue, in the Palermo neighborhood, in Buenos Aires. Especially in the morning and at night, when the sun’s rays still do not provide protection from winter temperatures, the thermometer can show degrees below zero. Despite this, several fruit and vegetable shops are open.

In one of them, the owner, Martín González, is wearing a thick sweater, a winter jacket and a wool cap. There is no heating here and the door is permanently open. “That has to reach. There is no point in heating the business. If we close the door, customers can no longer see our products. And we live from the clientele that passes through here, ”he explains.

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The poorest people, in the slums, struggle even more with high energy prices. In recent days, more than half a million Argentines have registered to continue receiving the state subsidy for gas and electricity, which helps people with lower incomes not to be left without those basic services because they cannot pay the bill.

Dramatic depreciation of the Argentine peso

In Argentina, the economic crisis is permanent and dramatic. In recent weeks, the Argentine peso clearly lost value against the dollar. About 10 days ago, for 100 dollars, 25,000 pesos were paid in exchange houses. Meanwhile, for that sum, 34,000 pesos are obtained. A loss of almost 33 percent in the so-called “blue dollar”, whose value is decisive for the economic life of the country, since it directly influences prices.

Food, fuel, transportation, really everything is getting more and more expensive. Product prices are changed weekly, and even daily. The Argentine government of President Alberto Fernández tries to take measures against that. A few days ago there was a change in the leadership of the Ministry of Economy. Martín Guzmán was replaced by Silvina Batakis, who has been busy trying to somehow calm the markets since day one. So far without success.

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Everything revolves around the dollar, and how to get them. Saving in pesos makes almost no sense anymore, because the rate of inflation annihilates the value of savings. That is why many people try to get dollars.

“Argentina was robbed”

The country has long debated who is to blame for the situation. “Argentina was robbed,” social leader Juan Grabois, a leader of the Movement of Excluded Workers and the Confederation of Economic Workers, told DW. The fault, according to him, is the credit of billions from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was taken by the previous government of Mauricio Macri. That credit is the cause of the country’s immense foreign debt.

Rebeca Fleitas, deputy of the populist liberal party La Libertad Avanza, led by the mediatic and controversial economist Javier Milei, disagrees with this. In an interview with DW, Fleitas says that the flaw is in Argentina’s current economic model, which continues to push the country backwards: “Our economic system is sick. The private sector is too weak, we produce too little. And on top of that we have an overly inflated state apparatus.”

However, the debate about who is to blame for the current debacle in Argentina does not help Argentines. According to the most recent figures, 37.2 percent of the Argentine population lives below the poverty line, which corresponds to a whopping 17.4 million people. For them, the current inflationary trend is a humanitarian catastrophe, because the few pesos they have are becoming less and less valuable.

No matter how hard they work, they no longer have enough to survive. The consequences are also a growing crime and insecurity in the streets. The fight for survival becomes increasingly difficult and the gap in society is getting deeper. (YO)

Source: Eluniverso

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