Home America Argentines pour into streets as pension reform protests heats up
Argentines pour into streets as pension reform protests heats up
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Argentines pour into streets as pension reform protests heats up

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Thousands of Argentines banged pots and pans in the streets or from their windows in Buenos Aires and other cities on Monday (December 18) night and into Tuesday (December 19) morning following a day of violence outside Argentina’s Congress.

Demonstrators and riot police clashed around the congressional complex in the Argentine capital earlier on Monday as lawmakers prepared to debate a controversial pension reform measure.

Monday’s incidents began shortly before 1:30 p.m. (16:30 GMT) when a group of stone-throwing demonstrators attempted to bring down barricades around Congress set up by the police who responded to the protesters with tear gas.

By 9:00 p.m. (0000 GMT) the sound of banging pots and pans could be heard in several of the capital city’s neighbourhoods in a form of protest common in Argentina and some other Latin American countries, known as a “cacerolazo.”

As the night faded into Tuesday morning, downtown streets were filled with demonstrators marching from residential neighbourhoods towards the capitol building downtown, many of them banging pots and pans, waving flags or carrying protest signs against the measure and against President Mauricio Macri.

Macri, elected in 2015 with a mandate to lift the heavy-handed currency and trade controls favoured by his predecessors, says Argentina needs pension reform to cut its deficit, attract investment and promote sustainable growth.

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