This afternoon, news channels showed divided screens as President Cristina Fernandéz de Kirchner and Secretary General of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) Hugo Moyano both delivered speeches.
A little after 3pm, Moyano began his speech in front of demonstrators who had been gathering since early this morning in a protest calling for the income tax floor to be raised and the cap on family benefits to be lifted.
Those CGT unions loyal to Moyano were joined by Barrionuevo’s CGT Azul y Blanca, the Frente de Izquierda, and a collection of other unions at the demonstration. The absence of many service and industrial unions within the CGT, as well as the majority of the public transport unions, was seen as a blow to Moyano.
Moyano delivered a strong critique of the government, accusing the current administration of “arrogance”.
He responded directly to critiques offered yesterday by the president, stating that today’s activities did not represent ”extortion” but rather a “legitimate complaint by the workers”. He further argued that it was the government that was guilty of “extortion” by “keeping workers’ money”.
Moyano’s speech made many references to Juan Domingo Perón and his wife, Evita. He promised that today’s strike would not be “the only strike followed by a demonstration” and confirmed his intention to continue leading the CGT when his term ends next July.
This afternoon President Fernández also made a speech at the opening of a pork-processing factory in the town of Juan Llerena. The project was partially financed by the national Agricultural Ministry. The trip constituted her first official visit to the province of San Luis, where Juan Llerena is located.
In her speech, the president discussed the achievements of her administration with regards to employment, talked about the relationship between university education and work, and made reference to the G20.
President Fernández commented, “we have accomplished a lot over the last nine years, and we are going to continue working with the same strength and conviction with which we began this process on the 25th of May, 2003.”
While not directly mentioning Moyano, she did comment, “We do not all think alike, but this is not River versus Boca, we need Argentina to win.”