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  • Demonstrators hold candles and wave Argentine national flags during a protest against utility rate hikes in Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 19, 2018.

    Demonstrators hold candles and wave Argentine national flags during a protest against utility rate hikes in Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 19, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 22 April 2018

Argentina is gearing up for a blackout tomorrow to protest the administration’s proposed electricity rate hike, one of several over the past two years.

Argentina is gearing up for a blackout tomorrow to protest the administration’s proposed electricity rate increase.

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Despite an attempt by some in the House of Representatives to block the measure, President Mauricio Macri is pushing to once again increase the country’s electricity costs. Citizens throughout Argentina are communicating via social media to organize, posting a Twitter announcement that reads "Shutdown the light, against the adjustments," calling for users to turn off their electricity April 23 from 8pm-9pm local time.  

Unions and organizations marched last Wednesday and Thursday to protest the latest round of energy increases by the government. As the government raised energy taxes by 45 percent in December they were told to expect a 40 percent increase around March.

Since Macri took office in 2015 energy prices have increased by about 500 percent, and inflation hovers around 25 percent.

Announcements on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are encouraging all in Argentina to "unplug and turn off all electrical domestics to no use any energy during that hour."

 

 


"Shutdown the light, against the adjustments. For one hour no one will consume which will overheat the company's equipment and create economic difficulties. Monday, April 23, 8:00pm-9:00pm. Unplug and turn off all electrical appliances to no use any energy during that hour. Make this viral. Brought to you by those against the rate hike, without a political party." reads the tweet.


Touring a lemon packaging plant last week in Tucuman, referring to the electricity increase President Macri told the press, "I've always told them and I reiterate today: I'm not a magician. I'd love it, but it doesn't work for me. … Nothing that you promise and comes as a gift can be true."

Macri proposed allowing people to pay their bill throughout the year. 

The president and his party, Cambiemos are being criticized for following IMF recommendations to implement strict austerity measures and enact massive government spending cuts to social programs and subsidies.


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