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Argentina in concession to farmers
Government agrees to modify tax law but some farmers say the move is not enough.
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2008 16:53 GMT

Kirchner's popularity has slumped in Argentina since
the crisis began [AFP]

The Argentine government has agreed to modify a controversial export tax law which has sparked farm protests and a serious political crisis.
 
The new measure, announced on Thursday, will lower the tax rate on soy and offer rebates to smaller producers, the government said.
However the decision will not repeal the new law - as demanded by many farmers - and many leaders say the protests will continue.
 
Argentina raised its export taxes in March, sparking weeks of protests and road blockades by angry farmers.
The crisis has also severely tested the government of Cristina Kirchner, the Argentine president.
 
Kirchner has staunchly defended the law, saying it will spread the benefits from high global commodities prices.
 
'Confusing people'
 
Alberto Fernandez, Argentina's cabinet chief, announced the modifications in a news conference, but also defended the tax, saying too much of Argentina's farmland had been given over to soy at the expense of other crops.
 
"I'm confident this resolves the concerns of a lot of farmers," Alberto Fernandez was quoted by Reuters as saying.
 
However Alfredo de Angeli, an Argentine farm protest leader, criticised the announcements as "still a disaster".
 
"It's all a tactic of confusing people," he told local television.
 
"Unfortunately, the agricultural sector continues without a solution."
 
Al Jazeera's Latin American editor, Lucia Newman, says most farmers view the concession as too little too late, although some said they would continue to analyse the government statement overnight and come back with a response.
Source:
Agencies
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