Wednesday, 26 March 2008

The Weekly News in Brief

Photos: Mothers of the Disappeared

As yet another thunder storm with lightning roars and heavy rain beats against the window, I will give you the news in brief from Argentina from this last week.

New Visas
Ireland and Argentina have agreed to a work exchange program whereby 100 people of both countries can get visas to work in the respective countries. More details here. Good initiative but why only 100 slots available? Argentina's population is 8 times that of Ireland.

Farmers Protest
Before the thunderstorm hit tonight, I was awoken from an late evening siesta (sleeping is fashionable here don't ya know!) by the sound of pots and pans being hammered by spoons and whatnot (a throw back to the protests after the crash in 2001). The farmers strike (due to excessive tariffs / taxes on agricultural produce) made its way to the capital with major protests in the centre of the city, outside the new president Cristina's abode and beyond. As a result of the blockades, there are food shortages including meat, veg, eggs etc in the shops here as supplies are blocked by the protests. I just went to the supermarket and the meat section which is 2 aisles wide was EMPTY!!!!!!!!! If my steak fix is cut off, I may well go postal or worse cannibal! I'll be down on the street myself with my pot & pan!
The government so far is not interested in negotiation. The rural people who voted for the new president Cristina are being ignored. This has the potential to become very ugly indeed. More details here

The Disappeared
This week was 32 years since the beginning of the military dictatorship which led to 30,000 people 'disappearing' and approx 200 babies being kidnapped and appropriated to military couples. There are still protests every week by the mothers of the disappeared in the centre of the city. Only now are some of those responsible being brought to justice. The majority were given immunity under previous government administrations. Many of the biggest houses in the richest neighbourhoods belong to military personnel from the dictatorship. More Details here.

Expensive Cities
In slightly more positive news, Argentina was named 2nd cheapest city to visit for tourists. Oslo, London, Copenhagen and Dublin were the four most expensive in Europe. (I lived in three of these cities so no wonder I'm hiding down here for a while!) More details here


Gaucho Gal March 26, 2008 10:26 pm  

If they don't start negotiating with the farmers soon, we'll all be going hungry!

Baino March 26, 2008 11:28 pm  

Ah, I'm not a fan of Sting but that song "They Dance Alone" really twanged the heart strings in reference to these poor women who have lost their children and have been brave enough for years to protest.

Wait till your president has to serve omelettes to her fancy men instead of a chunk of prime rib . . then there'll be parle!

Quickroute March 27, 2008 12:02 am  

Gaucho Gal: Agreed - although there'snow talk of removing the blockades by force - not good news either!

Baino: I was more a fan of The Police than Sting, but agreed that song is right on the money!

Eggs & veg are in short supply too so she might have to serve pizza!

Shaunj March 27, 2008 6:38 am  

Reminds me of what happened in Australia also with the aboriginal children- at least they got an apology for it eventually after ousting that odious toad John Howard.
I hope the food shortage situation is resolved. Stock up on cabbage if you can-very versatile and cheap!

Quickroute March 27, 2008 1:56 pm  

Shaunj: Good analogy - I think that apology only came thru very recently - very disturbing indeed.

I'm not a big cabbage fan as the Irish way of cooking it (i.e. boiling the bejezuz out of it) never did much for me - Like Popoye - I prefer spinach!

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