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Thu Aug 23, 2018, 03:30 PM

University faculty on strike in Argentina

Teaching staff at all 57 Argentine public universities are taking part in a general strike against cuts in real salaries by the right-wing administration of President Mauricio Macri.

Joined by many of their students, professors marched in cities across the nation to demand a 30% salary increase as the strike enters its third week.

Macri, however, has refused to revise the 15% raise decreed in January - a figure never agreed to by faculty unions, and now considered all the more unacceptable given that inflation has risen to an annualized 36% so far this year.

"The government has to give an effective response. The non-start of classes and demonstrations are the product of a profound discomfort on the part of the university community," Carlos De Feo, general secretary of the National Federation of University Faculty (CONADU).

The strike was joined by all 140,000 faculty at the nation's 57 public universities.

University budgets (3.5% of all federal spending) are under pressure from wider cuts imposed by the IMF in exchange for a $50 billion bailout.

Critics note that IMF-imposed cuts are unconstitutional and have - as in the 2001 crisis - failed to resolve the main cause of the current crisis: record current account deficits which doubled to $31 billion last year, plus a wave of capital flight of $25 billion so far this year.

Amid a deepening recession and foreign debt crisis, Macri has committed to budget cuts of nearly $10 billion (around 8% of next year's proyected federal budget) - but few measures to control mounting capital flight, and no reversals on the $4 billion in corporate and top-end tax cuts granted by decree days after taking office in late 2015.

Argentina's GDP, according to data released today, plummeted 6.7% in June from the same time a year earlier. The dollar has risen by two-thirds against the peso so far this year (to 31), and Argentine Credit Default Swaps - the cost of insuring bonds against default - have doubled.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Felpais.com%2Finternacional%2F2018%2F08%2F21%2Fargentina%2F1534882939_879357.html&edit-text=

Without public universities there is no future: University of Buenos Aires faculty join a general strike against 15% raises amid 36% inflation.

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sandensea Aug 2018 OP
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