Argentine farmers end tax truce

Protests against taxes hikes on soybean products set to resume over the weekend.

    Protest leaders want Kirchner to roll back
    the tax increases [AFP]

    However, farmers' leaders have said they will continue talks with the government and not repeat the widespread roadblocks that caused nationwide food shortages in March.

    Food supplier

    Argentina is one of the world's top suppliers of soy, corn, wheat and beef, and March's strike disrupted its grains shipments.

     

    The crisis began after Cristina Kirchner, the Argentine president, issued a decree on March 11 increasing taxes by as much as 45 per cent.


    In response, angry farmers blocked roads to stop farm goods reaching markets, a measure that caused shortages of beef and dairy products and led to empty shelves in supermarkets in Buenos Aires.
     
    A truce was agreed in early April, after many farmers said they needed time to harvest their soya beans crop.
     
    The government defended the take hikes as a way to redistribute money reaped from soaring global food prices and keep down the cost of staple foodstuffs in a country where about one quarter of the population lives in poverty.

    Last month, Martin Lousteau, the Argentine economy minister, resigned after less than five months in the position over the crisis.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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