Date: Tue, 12 Aug 97 12:15:05 CDT
From: rich%pencil@YaleVM.CIS.Yale.Edu (Rich Winkel)
Subject: Weekly Americas News Update #393, 8/10/97

/** reg.nicaragua: 66.0 **/
** Topic: Weekly News Update #393, 8/10/97 **
** Written 8:04 AM Aug 11, 1997 by wnu in cdp:reg.nicaragua **
From: Weekly News Update <>
ISSUE #393, AUGUST 10, 1997
339 LAFAYETTE ST., NEW YORK, NY 10012 (212) 674-9499

Economic Model "Seems Fine" to Parties, Not to People

From Weekly News Update on the Americas,
No. 393, 10 August, 1997

Argentina's two main opposition forces have formed an alliance to confront the ruling Justicialist Party (PJ, Peronist) in the legislative elections scheduled for next October. Complex negotiations between the Radical Civic Union (UCR) and the Front for a Country in Solidarity (FREPASO) ended in an agreement on Aug. 3. As part of the pact, ex-president Raul Alfonsin of the UCR has reportedly agreed not to run for a national deputy seat representing Buenos Aires province. While Alfonsin had headed his own party's list of candidates for the province, he polls far behind PJ candidate Hilda Gonzalez and FREPASO candidate Graciela Fernandez Meijide. [El Diario-La Prensa 8/4/97 from EFE]

On Aug. 9, the new alliance met with the country's main opposition unions, the Congress of Argentine Workers (CTA) and the Movement of Argentine Workers (MTA), and declared its support for a strike called for Aug. 14 against changes in labor legislation. [Clarin 8/10/97]

However, Jose Luis Machinea, economic chief of the new alliance, told the moderate leftist daily Clarin that the alliance will not question the basic principles of the neoliberal economic model, such as privatizations and convertibility -- "because they seem fine"--but will rather discuss how income is distributed and attempt to control corruption. [Clarin 8/8/97]

Local and regional protests over the effects of the economic model--increased unemployment and poverty--are continuing to flare up in Argentina. In Cordoba on Aug. 7, some 300 members of the Union of Base Organizations for Social Rights--representing residents of shantytowns--seized the Cordoba cathedral after ending a highway roadblock in which they clashed with police. The protesters are demanding the expansion of social programs and participation in their design and development. Cordoba archbishop Raul Francisco Primatesta mediated an end to the cathedral occupation on Aug. 8; governor Ramon Mestre promised to meet with the movement's leaders. [Clarin 8/9/97]

Picketers lifted a number of roadblocks in Jujuy province on Aug. 6 after reaching a truce with the provincial government. On the same day Jujuy's provincial police forcibly removed a group of mainly women picketers from one intersection; two picketers were arrested and a number of people were injured. The truce is set to last until Aug. 22, when negotiations will begin to reach a solution to the protesters' demands. The Jujuy picketers are demanding that those included in the government's "To Work" employment plan get 400 pesos ($400) instead of 200, and that women be included in the employment programs. [Clarin 8/7/97]

A total of 71 people were arrested when Jujuy police removed picketers from highways in Libertador General San Martin and Alto Comedero. [Diario Los Andes 8/9/97 from DYN]

Weekly News Update on the Americas * Nicaragua Solidarity Network of NY 339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012 * 212-674-9499 fax: 212-674-9139 *

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