Argentines flood streets in anti-government protest
The center-left leader won easy re-election a year ago but her approval ratings have slid since. Her government has virtually banned dollar purchases and it limited imports this year, worsening a steep economic slowdown.
High crime, inflation of roughly 25 percent a year, and a possible bid by government allies to reform the constitution to allow Fernandez to run for a third term are also stoking unrest, particularly among middle-class Argentines.
We've taken to the streets because we're sick of crime and having our pockets picked. Inflation is killing us, our pensions can't keep up, said Daniel Gonzalez, 70, a retired teacher.
Thursday's pot-banging protests conjured memories of the demonstrations staged by angry savers, housewives and students during Argentina's 2001-02 economic and political crisis.
Protesters in neighborhoods throughout Buenos Aires waved signs demanding freedom, transparency and an end to crime and corruption. A spokesman for the city's Justice and Security Ministry estimated 700,000 people were rallying in the capital.
A similar, smaller protest was staged just two months ago.
Local television showed rallies in other cities, including Rosario, Cordoba and Salta. The demonstrations were organized through social media and not by any one political party.
Some Argentines even took to the streets abroad with hundreds of demonstrators gathering outside the country's consulates in Italy, Spain and the United States.
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