Argentina truckers get deal and end strike but plan new protest

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Posted / Last update: 23-06-2012

Surging Prices

Annual inflation estimated at about 25 percent is stoking labor unrest as the economy cools after a long boom. Surging prices have also fueled capital flight and eroded the competitiveness of Argentine goods, prompting Fernandez to slap unorthodox curbs on imports and foreign currency purchases that are riling importers and the middle class.

The strike also reflected jostling for position within the CGT federation ahead of next month's leadership elections and within Fernandez's ruling and fragmented Peronist party, analysts say.

"There's a struggle going on within Peronism that stems from the president's strategy to accumulate and concentrate her personal power since her re-election," said Pascual Albanese of the Institute of Strategic Planning think-tank.

Fernandez, who won a second term by a landslide in October, is unable to run again in 2015 unless the constitution is changed. She controls Congress but might struggle to get the two-thirds support needed to change the country's charter.

There are signs of a nascent succession struggle in her party, which has traditionally had close ties with the unions. That could deepen the conflict with Moyano, who local media have suggested is forging closer ties with Daniel Scioli, a moderate Peronist who runs the country's biggest province and is seen as a potential successor to Fernandez. "When a conflict has a political objective, it's difficult to imagine that it won't end up escalating," said local pollster and analyst Sergio Berensztein.

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