Argentine workers mark Independence Day with IMF protests

STORY: Workers' organizations carried banners with messages such as 'Out with the IMF' and 'Scams are not to be paid', while also calling for a national strike.

Socialist Left political party's congress member Juan Carlos Giordano told Reuters Argentina needed a second independence to break ties with the IMF, calling it the "Spanish Empire of the 21st century."

On Friday, Argentina's newly appointed economy minister Silvina Batakis met for the first time with the IMF's board of executive directors to discuss a $44-billion Argentine program.

Former economy minister Martin Guzman, the architect of the South American country's deal with the IMF, resigned abruptly last week as tensions within the government coalition boiled on how to handle the worsening economy.

Guzman's departure sparked concerns of a shift towards populist policies and state spending in the country where inflation is running above 60%.

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