President of Argentina Maria Estela Peron has appeared on television sets -- many on view in the streets -- to announce a popular campaign to combat shortages and rising prices.
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Background: President of Argentina Maria Estela Peron has appeared on television sets -- many on view in the streets -- to announce a popular campaign to combat shortages and rising prices. In a ten-minute broadcast, she said centres were being set up throughout towns and cities to help control prices of essential goods.
In May wholesale prices rose more sharply than in any one month for a year. Some major exports have been halted and importers are complaining that price controls are making it uneconomical to import essential goods.
"Work-tables" were set up in streets, schools, offices, factories and agricultural centres an hour before the speech. President Peron urged people to report cases of high prices or suspected hoarding. She called on neighbourhood councils, clubs and family leagues to cooperate with the "solidarity crusade" to end profiteering and speculation.
Leaders of the CGT, Argentina's most powerful Labour federation, will support the campaign along with the Light and Energy Workers Federation and the Buenos Aires Electricity Union. The Light and Energy workers have offered an hour's unpaid work from each man later this year as a "donation" to the campaign.
Despite a "social pact" between the CGT, business associations and the Government to freeze prices and wages, prices have increased while wages have remained almost stationary.
Shortly after the President's speech, Economy Minister Jose Galberd denied rumours that he would resign. The Minister and his team have been heavily criticised for carrying out the wage and price freeze to the disadvantage of the workers.