The mass emigration of the young, the educated and the skilled, continues to present the regime of President Juan Maria Bordaberry with its most pressing social problem.
GV PAN and MV People queuing outside Argentine Consulate (3 shots)
SCU Man in queue looking at immigration papers
SV and MV PAN People queuing
GV and SV Empty abandoned house (2 shots)
GV PAN FROM Street to "House for Sale" sign and other empty houses for sale (4 shots)
GV and SV PAN Restaurant almost empty (3 shots)
MV TILT UP and GVs empty old-fashioned houses (3 shots)
SV PANS INT Deserted shop to street (3 shots)
Initials ET/2340 ET/001
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Background: The mass emigration of the young, the educated and the skilled, continues to present the regime of President Juan Maria Bordaberry with its most pressing social problem.
By the end of this year, it is estimated that about four hundred thousand people will have left Uruguay since 1968. For a country with such a small population, it is particularly serious. At the last census in 1963, the population was given as 2,600,000. It amounts to fifteen per cent of the population, in a country where the natural rate of population increase is only 1.3 per cent a year.
In the pat few years, the country has experienced intense left-wing guerilla activity, a right-wing military coup, and economic stagnation. Experts say that the migrants are mainly professional people technicians and skilled workers. Most of them are under forty.
Most of the emigrants leave because of the economic stagnation and inflation that has gripped the country over the pat few years. Last year inflation was running at 92 per cent annually. This year it has been kept down to a mere 60 per cent.
Others re leaving because they can no longer tolerate the political repression that has reigned since President Bordaberry dissolved Congress with the backing of the armed forces last year. Many of them cross the Uruguay river into Argentina. Other countries preferred, in order popularity, are Brazil, Australia, Canada and the United States.
The mass emigration is affecting every sector of the already shaky economy, and even the once-vaunted health service is crumbling. Outside Montevideo the roads are almost devoid of traffic, and the road-side restaurants and cafes are almost deserted.