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 Angry Argentines Burn U.S. Flags


 By: The Associated Press
The Washington Post, April 8, 2002

 

Buenos Aires, Argentina Dozens of demonstrators angry over the International Monetary Fund's response to Argentina's economic crisis burned American flags and blocked a major highway Monday as a top International Monetary Fund official arrived for a new round of talks.

Some 50 protesters, many from leftist groups, waved flags and sang Argentina's national anthem at the Buenos Aires international airport after IMF special operations director Anoop Singh arrived for a 10-day visit.

The group later resumed their protest inside the downtown hotel where Singh is staying, banging drums and chanting "Get out IMF!"

Hoping to tame Argentina's worst economic crisis in decades, the government of President Eduardo Duhalde is seeking $25 billion in bailout funds to jump-start the flagging economy and shore up a teetering bank system that bordered on collapse last December. The IMF demanded a credible recovery plan and deeper spending cuts as conditions for renewing aid.

An IMF mission is in Buenos Aires poring over Argentina's financial books and is expected to remain here for the next 10 days.

Analysts say they expect the IMF to decide whether it will resume lending at its annual meeting in Washington later this month.


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