Following up on the Kirchners’s self-induced farm crisis post:
The striking farmers have declared a month-long truce, after the government offered small farmers a rebate on the export tax and compensation for transport costs. The Kirchenr administration remains adamant about the tax increases:
The assembly followed a very different rally held Tuesday by supporters of the government of Cristina Fernández, in the Plaza de Mayo outside of the seat of government in Buenos Aires. Addressing a crowd of as many as 200,000 supporters, according to police estimates, she called for support for the measure that sparked the conflict in the first place: the hike on soy and sunflower export taxes.
The farm export tax revenue is not shared with the provinces, who need funds to improve their infrastructure.
The farmers have agreed to a truce but
they demanded greater control over the way the taxes are to be used. “We want to recuperate the country’s lost federalism,” they said, criticising the fact that the export tax is not distributed among the provinces.
Juan Echeverría, who belongs to the most radical sector taking part in the protests — a group of farmers who do not form part of any of the four major rural associations — said the countryside “exploded” because the export tax hike was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“Soybeans were the last refuge of profitability, after the trampling of the profit margin for milk and beef,” he said.
The rural activist said that in the past few years, dozens of small dairy farms have closed down, because the subsidies shelled out by the government over the past year have gone to the large producers.
The strike has caused beef and produce shortages in the cities. Additionally,
The absence of Argentine beef and tighter Brazil and Uruguay supplies is now causing a surge of orders for Australian beef from the EU, Russia, the Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia.
Since the Kirchners need a distraction, what better way than to mark the anniversary of the Falklands war?
The Falklands (which Argentinians call the Malvinas) have been British territory since the 1830s, but come in handy at times like this.