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Argentines protest over poverty, unemployment amid economic crisis

Members of Argentina's social and political organizations march from the San Cayetano Church towards Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires on August 7, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

Tens of thousands of Argentinean people have flocked to the streets of the capital, Buenos Aires, to protest against poverty and unemployment in the Latin American country.

The protest, led by organizations working with the unemployed and leftist groups, took place on Saturday as a drawn-out economic crisis deepened by the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the livelihood of Argentines.

The mass rally started from a church to the west of Buenos Aires towards the Plaza de Mayo, a massive square in front of the seat of government in the capital.

“I come on behalf of people who do not have work: my brother, my neighbors and many people who you see really struggling everywhere,” said Nestor Pluis, a 41-year-old educational assistant.

“Politicians should get their act together with people who are tired of lies. They should start activating the economy because people really need to work.''

Lawmaker Juan Carlos Alderete, leader of the left-wing party Corriente Clasista y Combativa, said the needs of people in some neighborhoods were “tremendous,” and many children were “malnourished.”

Similar protests also took place in other parts of the country, including in Argentina’s second city of Cordoba and the western city of Mendoza.

The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated an already difficult economic situation in the Latin American country, where 42 percent of the 19-million population lives below the poverty line and the unemployment stands at 10.2 percent.

Argentina has registered more than five million cases of the coronavirus and over 107,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The government announced on Friday a relaxation of the coronavirus restrictions to reactivate the economy, ahead of the legislative elections in November.

In a televised speech, President Alberto Fernandez said he saw brighter days ahead, adding, “Argentina is growing, recuperating jobs and will recover income.”

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