Thousands of Argentineans have poured into the streets of the capital, Buenos Aires, to express their dissatisfaction with President Mauricio Macri’s economic policies.
Demonstrators waved banners and national flags and blocked traffic along the main avenues of Buenos Aires during the Thursday march, which had been organized by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) and backed by other unions.
The protesters also burned an effigy of Macri and chanted slogans against his government’s policies. They said they held the rally to oppose what they called dictatorship.
Those who took part in the march argued that workers were being indiscriminately fired and people were losing their purchasing power. The protesters also asked for the protection of national industry, urging government officials to raise salaries, stop lay-offs, and contain inflation.
A group of immigrants also took part in the march to protest against a recent presidential decree that changed deportation procedures, making it much easier to turn away or deport immigrants.
Thousands of teachers also took to the streets of the capital on Wednesday and Thursday as part of a two-day national strike demanding a 35-percent wage increase to keep pace with inflation.
Tens of thousands of state employees have been fired since Macri took office in 2015. He had vowed to reduce spending and consumer prices.
While Macri’s policies have led to massive protests in the country, he says the measures are needed to revive Argentina’s weak economy, attract investments, and end alleged economic failures by his predecessor, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
Upcoming congressional elections are seen as crucial for Macri. His “Let’s Change” coalition needs a strong showing in the October polls for him to steam ahead with the free-market policy reforms.
Meanwhile, the country’s largest labor union has called a general strike for April 6.