Inflation is gaining momentum in Argentina. Today it is over 120 percent, and economists warn that it could be even worse. Four out of 10 citizens of what was once the richest country in Latin America and one of the wealthiest in the world live in poverty. We are considering going abroad – admits many Argentines.
Laura and her husband don’t go shopping without a calculator. They constantly analyze and check what they can afford. Purchasing some vegetables and fruits is beyond their financial capabilities. – It is hard. Prices are increasing day by day. We constantly check where we can buy something cheaper. We shop in different places to get products at the lowest possible prices, says Laura Celiz, a resident of Tapiales. Within a month, prices in Argentina increased by more than 12 percent. The last time such a monthly growth rate was recorded was in February 1991. Year-on-year inflation exceeds 124 percent. – If my daughters or grandchildren told me that they wanted to move, for example, to Spain, I would buy them tickets myself, because I see no future for them in this country – admits Jorge Del Teso, a resident of Buenos Aires.
Marcelo, a butcher living on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, has similar dilemmas. Due to the depreciation of the Argentine currency, the 53-year-old prices meat in his store in dollars. The man is considering leaving Argentina because he claims that at his age no one will employ him, so he has no chance of earning extra money. – The situation is dramatic. We don’t know where to get money for bills. People are angry and they have the right to be. They cannot afford not only to buy an apartment, but even to buy a kilogram of meat – explains Marcelo Capobianco, a butcher and resident of Buenos Aires.
Mistakes of those in power
Galloping inflation is hitting Argentines in their pockets. In an attempt to provide relief to citizens, the Minister of Economy reduced taxes and fuel prices were frozen until the end of October, but according to economists, these actions will not help the economy. – Some experts estimate that inflation will reach up to 180 percent by the end of the year. This will be a record level. While Argentina is facing triple-digit inflation, the rest of Latin American countries have single-digit inflation, says Damian Di Pace, an economist.
Argentina was once the richest country in Latin America and one of the richest countries in the world. In recent decades, Argentina has gone bankrupt several times due to, among other things, poor economic policy, corruption among those in power and constantly growing debt. Today, 4 out of 10 citizens of this country live in poverty. In August, mass looting occurred in several Argentine cities. Groups of people attacked stores, stealing whatever they could. The police were mobilized to guard the stores. Many entrepreneurs have suspended their operations for fear of a wave of vandalism. – I am sad. I’ve never had to close a business because of fear of looting and insecurity before, admits Damien Fernandez, an entrepreneur from San Fernando.
According to the government, August was the worst month for the Argentine economy in the last 25 years. Price increases will certainly play an important role in the October presidential elections. Far-right Javier Milei – called by some the Argentine Trump – is leading in the polls. Milei believes that the answer to high inflation is, among other things, adopting the dollar as Argentina’s official currency.
Facts about the World TVN24 BiS
Main photo source: Reuters