• Short Summary


    INTRODUCTION: Political groupings in Argentina are growing increasingly to lose support in the community.

  • Description


    SV PULL BACK TO GV & CUs Women's vigil in Plaza de Mayo. (2 SHOTS) 0.13
    CUs Head scarves with names of missing people written on them. (2 SHOTS) 0.26
    GVs INT Cardinal Raul Francisco Primatesta speaking at press conference as journalists take notes. (2 SHOTS) 0.53
    GV Army chief Galtieri leaving church. 0.59
    GV Army chief Admiral Lambruschini leaving church. 1.04
    SCU Presdent Viola outside church. 1.14CU & SCU Economy Minister Sigaut outside church. (2 SHOTS) 1.25
    CU PULL BACK TO GV Prices board at meat shop and meat on display. (2 SHOTS) 1.34
    GV Fruit shop display. 1.40
    SV & GV People buying and reading newspapers. (5 SHOTS) 2.07
    GVs Closed factories and For Sale sign on one. (2 SHOTS) 2.21
    GV Cars transporters. (2 SHOTS) 2.37
    GV Workmen on building site. (3 SHOTS) 2.57


    INTRODUCTION: Political groupings in Argentina are growing increasingly to lose support in the community. Recently, there has been severe newspaper criticism of the government's performance over the economy which has seen big devaluations of the peso. There also has been an unprecedented attack on the government by the church and other community groups.

    SYNOPSIS: One group which has maintained its criticism for many months now is the "Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo" who have maintained a vigil in the square, demanding information about their missing husbands, sons and daughters, hundreds of whom disappeared during the anti-guerrilla drive of the mid 1970s. Although their demonstrations are officially frowned upon, the government has consistently denied any involvement with kidnappings.

    Argentina's government has its so-called moderates, including President Viola, but the country's powerful Roman Catholic Church is not convinced they can dominate. On Tuesday (30 June) the church -- normally the most reserved and conservative in Latin America -- issued a statement which warned the country was experiencing a crisis of authority. Bishops sharply criticised the military government's methods in the mid 1970s and their concern over the fate of those who disappeared.

    Amongst those the church fears are the hard line military backers of the regime, including army chief and junta member, General Leopoldo Galtieri, and his naval counterpart, Admiral Armando Lambruschini.

    Since his inauguration in March this year, President Viola has been beset by two major criticisms. One is his human rights programme, or lack of it. The second is his government's control of the Argentine economy.

    His Economy Minister, Doctor Lorenzo Sigaut has presided over two significant devaluations of the peso since the change of government at the end of March. The peso has fallen in value by about two thirds against the United States dollar. The devaluations, each of 23 per cent, have forced shop prices to rise dramatically.

    Argentina's free enterprise economy, which allows the peso to float against other currencies has had a profound effect on the national labour market. Unemployment is rife and the jobless queue every day for newspapers advertising positions. Even if banks were prepared to lend to the unemployed, borrowers in this extreme inflationary situation are facing interest rates of around 200 per cent.

    Local industry has been hit hard by the deep economic recession. Roberto Viola is faced with the task of steering Argentina out of the truth, without openly dismissing the policy of his predecessor, General Jorge Videla, as a failure. Public disquiet over the economy had been aggravated by the administration's reluctance to confide with them about the future, including the parlous state of the local car industry, recently disrupted by strikes.

    The building industry, regarded internationally as an economic indicator, is not surprisingly, depressed. President Viola meantime, watching the mounting trade deficit, says everything is going according to the Junta's plan, known as "the process", for a slow return to normal life, some time in the future.


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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
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    Available on request
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