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Argentines Demand Solutions to Economic Crisis


Thousands of Argentines marched peacefully on the capitol of Buenos Aires Friday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the violent uprising that left more than 25 people dead. Last December's riots caused the resignation of then-president Fernando de la Rua and set off a series of events that has sunk Argentina deeper into crisis.

Argentina's unemployed and disenfranchised arrived by the thousands in Buenos Aires. They came to remember those who died in last year's violence and to again demand solutions for the country's crippling four-year recession.

"We don't think that the government wants to hear us or can hear us. We've told them a million times, but we still continue to struggle," said factory worker Gerardo Robeano. Mr. Robeano is one of the lucky Argentines that has a job. More than 22 percent of the population is currently out of work.

The government said Friday that they have made positive progress in their negotiations with the IMF, but no deal has been sealed yet for the multi-billion dollar bailout package they are seeking.

Valeria Marta, 32, needs help as much as anyone. The single mother of four lives in the Province of Buenos Aires and survives on the 150 pesos or about $42 monthly handout that the government provides her. She says she lost her faith in the country's leaders years ago.

"I don't vote," she said. "For six or seven years I have not voted because I don't want any of those corrupt people to win and then lead Argentina."

Now that the country has commemorated the December 20 anniversary, many are looking forward to another important date: April 27 when presidential elections will be held.

Until now no one knows who will be the next president as political parties prepare to pick their candidates. But Argentine all know that the country's next leader will have a difficult road ahead as Argentina tries get out of its worst economic crisis in history.

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