The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Argentina:
Dead-Duck President Inflates Prices

Nov 11, 2019

Translated from Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group active in France.

Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri will be succeeded in December by President-elect Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, an ideological follower of historical leader Juan Perón. In the short time he has left, Macri plans new attacks against the working class.

In his attempt to avoid a defeat after the August primaries, Macri froze energy prices. But prices shot up again a week after his electoral loss. His government is letting the price of gas rise freely so that oil companies can recover the 20% they lose in profit because Argentina’s currency is now worth fewer U.S. dollars.

Higher oil prices only make inflation worse, especially for basic necessities. The price of bread is rising 20% because flour is more expensive, ten times higher than four years ago. Drugs are almost three times higher. Phone service is going up a fourth.

Until the bitter end, Macri will do everything possible to squeeze the living conditions of working people. Layoffs and inflation make essential goods inaccessible. Real estate loans are being indexed to inflation. People buying working class housing have no choice but to get out. Several essential products now hard to get were just removed from the official “family basket” of items used to calculate the reported cost of living.

But workers can’t expect big changes from the president-elect. She is busy reassuring capitalists, international financial authorities, and leaders of nearby countries. She just said she gets on very well with Trump and Chilean President Piñera, who is despised by his people. Like Macri, Kirchner will guard the interests of the rich.