Re: NEWS: Genoa riots

From: Carlos Gonzalia (
Date: Sun Jul 22 2001 - 11:30:00 MDT

>From: Spike Jones <>
>Carlos, why do the locals have a problem with the guys who reap
>the spoils of the IMF/WB policies? Seems like they would be in
>favor of these guy because they bring jobs and money into the
>neighborhood. What am I missing? spike

This is briefly the situation in Argentina at the moment:

Unemployment rate has kept very much constant during the first
years of the IMF accorded plan, then started to rise slowly but
steadily (around 15% now, I think). The economy has remained in
recession and stagnation during all this time, industrial production
has dropped horridly. The political
and bussiness class that agreed to said plan under the Menem administration
has plundered the nationaltreasury shamelessly. It was in fact difficult to
find any part of their government in which corruption, bribes, "fixing"
contracts, and simply criminal activities pursued from the comforts of
public office hasn't been the daily routine.

The previous president (Menem) is currently under arrest
and waiting trial for arms trafficking, and it is quite possibly that
he will also be prosecuted for drug money laundry, drug trafficking,
taking bribes for making sure selected companies were granted the
privatized ex-state companies, and who knows what else. Several of
his ministers and the ex-chief of the army are also processed/arrested
on the same charges. The IMF basically ignored the corruption
and the debacle (these guys never had a real economic program beyond
privatization of everything in sight, as fast as possible and for
whatever price offered, with a few miraculous exceptions), as long
as the government carried on their short-term ideas of the moment. The only
winning parties have been local or foreign new monopolies, that have
built on the privatizations of ex-state-owned companies.

On top of this complete mess in herited by them on assuming office,
the current administration is made up of a bunch of incompetent
old-school politicians who lack both the guts to face the problem,
and any knowledge of how to solve it. During the past few weeks, the
situation has become so terminal that the government is planning to
fix a "zero deficit" policy, and only pay for those things that can
be afforded after taxes are accounted every month. No loans, either
foreign or from the local banks, can be obtained anymore, as nobody
believes the country can go anywhere but to a debt default and
the collapse of most state services and budgets. Social unrest, strikes
by the state workers, and protests by unemployed people are spreading
fast as a reaction to this last ditch program. State workers wages are
expected to be reduced around 15% starting now, and further reductions
are very possible as the state tax collection system is a swiss cheese
and also corrupt to the core. As most of the reduced wages were already
very low, you will have all of a sudden a lot of people that will lack
the money to provide the essentials to their families. I think that when
these people realize their situation when they get their next paychecks,
things are probably going to get very nasty.


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