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General strike paralyzes Argentina

Staff Writer |
The start of a 24 hour general strike in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, has shut down public transport, with demonstrators blocking city streets.

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Unions said turnout was high as workers protested against job cuts and the economic policies of the conservative president, Mauricio Macri.

Protestors scuffled with police as President Macri hosted an economic forum for Latin American leaders.

Airlines in Argentina grounded international flights. The National Civil Aviation Administration said the strike disrupted 800 flights, affecting some 60,000 passengers. Buenos Aires Ezeiza international airport was effectively shut down.

Unions and officials said participation in the strike was high, in a country where official data show a third of the people are living in poverty.

Pablo Micheli, leader of the Argentina Workers' Headquarters union, estimated participation at 90 percent.

"The stoppage is a success," said Carlos Acuna, leader of the General Labor Confederation, a major union.

"It has demonstrated across the country the discontent with the government's economic policies."

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