At a speech opening the 126th La Rural Expo in Palermo (Buenos Aires’ annual agricultural and livestock show), head of the Argentine Rural Society, Hugo Biolcati, politicised the event by launching into a series of criticisms of the current government.
Bioclati asserted that the government was “deteriorating“ and that ”the Constitution” is no longer in use.
He also called for “the end of intolerance and corruption” and to get over the “perverse role of the State which sustains its electoral power and subjects governors and mayors.”
“It is essential to carry out the moral renovation which the country demands. We need politicians with new values” he added at the stage box of Argentina’s main agro-business show.
Grievances between farmers and the government have been on the rise as of late; this following a new land revaluation decree. In May Buenos Aires governor Daniel Scioli signed a decree that aims at a revaluation of rural land in the province, paving the way for the provincial legislature to pass a bill increasing taxes paid for land, cars, stamp duty, and others.
The decree and the tax reform bill seek to collect some $2 billion this year, around half of which would be sent to the national government.
This new decree was immediately rejected by farmers. Following the announcement, Argentine farmers’ organisations under the umbrella Liaison Board, announced a national strike in June cancelling trade in certain products to protest against national government policies.
Eduardo Buzzi, head of Agrarian Federation of Argentina, explained that “costs, particularly taxes, have increased non-stop for farmers and thus our incomes have been diminished.” He added, “something is going very wrong in Argentina’s farms, which is why we are sending this wake-up call … We are in bad shape and getting worse.”
Biolcati went on to list a series complaints: 12 million head of cattle less; wheat and corn planting discouragement; thousands of dairy farms eliminated, over a hundred abattoirs closed and thousands of workers from the meat industry collecting unemployment pay and living off subsidies.
“The time has come to participate, of making and not only of talking, of collaborating from wherever it is possible in the construction of a great new destiny for our great nation”, concluded Biolcati.
He also insinuated that he may enter into politics in the near future.