Updated 11:43 PM EST, Fri, Jan 28, 2022

Argentina President Mauricio Macri Slammed by Rome Protesters

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Argentine President Mauricio Macri was bombarded with rallies and protests during his visit to the Pope in Rome. Instead of getting a warm welcome like other heads of state, demonstrators made sure he knew that they have a problem with him and his policies.

President Macri's arrival in Rome and his first ever meeting with the head of Vatican did not go as smoothly as planned. A 50-strong flash mob went to Hotel de Russie where he was staying to protest. Amid banging drums and dancing, the demonstrators were flashing banners that read, "Homeland yes, Vultures, no." Other banners stated "No more dismissals."

From these heated statements, it is easy to see that the groups were angry that the Argentine leader was behind mass dismissals in the public sector. They were also opposing the leader's tough approach to social protests, which included having people arrested and persecuted. The demonstrators also wanted to see the release of social leader Milagro Sala. 

The main demonstrators were three human rights campaign groups: Grupo de Argentinos en Italia por la Memoria, la Verdad y la Justicia (the Group of Argentines in Italy for Memory, Truth and Justice); Asociación Progetto Sur (the South Project Association); and Frente Murguero italiano (the Italian Murguero Front.).

The demonstrators deemed that the president's policies are discriminatory. "There is no sector that has not been attacked by the neoliberal revanchism of the right of the current president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, who in less than two months produced a host of decrees, a drastic structural change in politics with the aim of dismantling and destroying economic, cultural and social inclusion policies, achieved over the last 12 years," they said.

The year has opened to the president ordering between 10,000 to 21,000 state workers to be removed from their positions. Continuous removals are expected as the government ministries review more contracts. Critics claimed that these removals are not economically motivated but politically-influenced. While the President reasoned that the public sector should be reduced in favor of making private investment as the source of new employment, may believe that the dismissals were in relation to the President's feelings on the past administration. Macri perceived the public administration employment generated for the past five years was a product of "clientelism."

Vice-President Gabriela Michetti also pushed out speculations that the public sector workers are "Kirchner militants." He said these employees are too blinded by their adoration with the late Nestor Kirchner and his successor and wife, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Here is a video of the President at the Davos 2016: 


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