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General Strike Grips Argentina

Over one million turn out for action to denounce government policies

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

A protester is grabbed by police in front of a crowd during Thursday's general strike. (Photo via Twitter: @SoyVnezolano)A 24-hour general strike gripped Argentina on Thursday, bringing many public services to a halt.

Unions say over one million workers took part in this second strike the administration of Cristina Fernández has faced. The strike's focus was to denounce the country's low wage increases in the face of high inflation, as well as other policies, like cuts in utility subsidies and salary caps, critics say are unfair to workers and are fomenting social unrest.

The strike stopped public transportation, forced the cancellation of flights, blockaded roads, and resulted in some clashes between police and protesters.

From Spanish news agency EFE:

"The strike has been a success from the outset," labor leader and congressman Nestor Pitrola said, adding that "a new stage has been launched" in the unions' struggle, "which began with the teachers strike and continues with this strike that seeks to define where the country is heading."

Spearheading the strike was Hugo Moyano, head of the General Confederation of Labor, and former Fernández ally.

Moyano said the strike was a sign of people's "anger and disenchantment," and that the president must respond to this message from the people.

Euronews and TeleSur (in Spanish with English subtitles) have video below: