Argentina export tax disrupting market
A strike by Argentine farmers over rising taxes on major export goods has entered its third week, with little sign of resolution.This has to be one of the most remarkable ignorant excuses for raising a tax I have ever heard. Raising taxes on exports is anything contributes to inflation by raising the price of products. It is not surprising that such a silly excuse would be put forward by a government bought and paid for by Hugo Chavez. It appears that Argentina is on the same road to ruin as Venezuela.
Blockades by farmers have led to shortages in the shops and have also hit exports, with some companies saying they cannot fulfil their contracts.
The government says the tax increases are justified and it will use force if necessary to get food to the markets.
Rival demonstrators rallied in Buenos Aires overnight amid some scuffles.
The latest crisis was sparked by the government's decision to introduce a new sliding scale of export taxes, raising levies in some cases up to 45%.
President Cristina Fernandez has refused to back down, saying the taxes are a means to raise badly-needed revenue, curb inflation and guarantee domestic supplies.
Argentina, a leading exporter of beef, corn, soy oil and soybeans, has benefited from the recent global surge in commodity prices.
But farmers say the taxes are hitting them and their communities hard.
"Our profit margins are getting smaller and smaller. What we pay to the state is not returned to us in the form, for example, of subsidies to buy fertilizers or to promote the social and educational development of our communities," Marcelo Rasseto, a small farmer from Santa Fe province, told the BBC.