Argentina’s debt crisis of 2001 and the challenges for Greece today – with Omar Acha from Argentina

argentina

Greece has voted NO / OXI to austerity, but what happens now? For one possibility, we can look at Argentina in 2001.

In the 1990s, the Argentine government implemented Latin America’s fiercest structural adjustment programme, as recommended by the IMF. Mobilisations and new emerging militant social movements forced a change of government in 1999, which failed to deliver the promised changes. Argentinean working people suffered and hard currency rapidly left the country.

Just days before Christmas 2001, a national strike gave way to mass lootings across the country, followed by popular mobilisations in Buenos Aires. Thousands of people came onto the streets, banging pots and pans in protest. The president resigned, and three more presidents and two entire governments changed within less than two weeks.

2003 saw the birth of ‘Kirchnerismo’, a centre-left Peronist government. Between 2003 and 2007 the economy grew by 9% per year, although this figure hides some factors about Argentina’s post-2001 economy. More importantly, the uprising revitalised politics ‘from below’ – rank and file trade union organisation, Asambleas (democratic mass meetings more recently seen in Spain) and workers taking over and running their factories.

How successful was Argentina in defying the IMF? And how relevant are its experiences for Greece today? Omar Acha, a writer and activist from Argentina will lead a discussion on this subject for Die LINKE Berlin Internationals group on Monday, 13 July.

The meeting will be in English and starts at 7pm in Karl Liebknecht Haus on Rosa Luxemburg Platz. Die LINKE Berlin Internationals can be contacted via the Websites theleftberlin.wordpress.com andwww.facebook.com/theleftberlin or the e-mail address lag.internationals@die-linke-berlin.de.