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Saturday, 31 August, 2002, 02:21 GMT 03:21 UK
Argentines protest as IMF talks stall
Protesters carry a sign saying
Argentines seem to be getting angrier

Tens of thousands of Argentines have staged further mass protests over the economy on the day the government indicated that it may take until next year to sign a bail-out agreement with the IMF.

Argentine family eating at a soup kitchen
Argentines are tired of living in poverty
Organisers gathered demonstrators in dozens of towns and cities across the country, and put up road-blocks outside the capital, Buenos Aires.

Rather than getting used to the country's four-year-old economic crisis, Argentines are just getting angrier.

On Friday organisers said that they had managed to bring together 100,000 protesters at rallies across the land.

Well-worn refrains

In Buenos Aires, trade unionists joined left-wing political groups and the poor to march to the Congress building, demanding the entire government's resignation.

Others set up the now-familiar road-blocks on some of the main access routes into the city.

"All of them out!" is the well-worn refrain they shouted at the government offices.

But just as the protesters now have the routines and their slogans, so too is the government now used to shrugging off the chant.

Instead, the government admitted on Friday that it may take until next year to sign a long-term rescue package with the IMF.

Tolerance fading

The tortuous negotiations have dragged on for months, and many of the protesters blame the IMF for causing their problems in the first place.

But most also now acknowledge that they will not escape the crisis without the IMF's money.

Friday's marches were largely peaceful, though the fear remains that the public's tolerance with their political leaders is reaching its limit.

And the news of the delayed negotiations means that there will be plenty of opportunities for still more demonstrations.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Richard Forrest
"The demonstrators are calling for jobs, money and a better quality of life"

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Argentina in turmoil

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