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General Strike In Argentina Over Rampant Inflation And Crime

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Public profligacy and private greed in a compound debt death spiral. Prices going up by the elevator but salaries by the stairs.

Britons... say hello to your future!


Workers in Argentina boycotted shops and stayed home from work on Thursday, as part of general strike against skyrocketing inflation and soaring crime under the government of President Cristina Kirchner.

Participation in the work stoppage was uneven, with some department stores, restaurants, businesses and schools open in Buenos Aires and in Rosario, Argentina's third largest city, despite the difficult commute.

Kirchner's center-left government is being blamed for an annual inflation rate estimated by independent economists at over 30 percent. In addition, crime is seen as a major concern by the population.

Buses, commuter trains and most metro lines were shut down by the 24-hour walkout, while airlines were forced to cancel flights.

Meanwhile, about half of stores in the capital were open, but were emptier than usual, and road and foot were lighter even than on a typical Sunday.

Gas stations closed, and radical leftist youths formed pickets on the main access route to Buenos Aires from the early morning.

In addition to being upset over a cap on salaries, unions are angry about inflation and about rampant urban crime.

"I'm never in favor of the strikes, but living with this level of inflation is impossible," said Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri of the opposition PRO party.

Earlier this month, a year-long public safety emergency was declared in Buenos Aires after a spate of violent robberies and assaults sparked a wave of vigilante action.

The last general strike called by unions in Argentina took place in November 2012, and, like this one, partially paralyzed the country.

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