Clashes as Argentina Congress debates pension reform

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – At least 48 people were arrested and 149 injured after the police and protesters clashed outside Argentina’s Congress in Buenos Aireson Monday as lawmakers debated a proposed pension overhaul, The Associated Press reports.

Among the injured include police officers, journalists and the general public.

Tens of thousands took to the streets to protest against a pension reform measure, which stipulates the cut of pension and retirement payments as well as aid for some of poor families.

The angry mob threw gasoline bombs, rocks and bottles among other objects while police in riot gear tried to displace the crowd with rubber bullets, tear gas and jets of water.

According to the Associated Press, protesters said they had no choice but to challenge the decision because in only favoured the elite at the expense of retirees who have equally contributed to the wealth of the country.

“We have no one to defend us,” said 70-year-old Cristina Sanmero “At my age, I have to come here and defend my contributions of 30 years. We’re governed by inept people who think that it’s easier to take away from the old.”

According to authorities, the decision to reform pension funds is part of a series of economic changes by President Mauricio Macri to reduce the government’s high deficit.

Following the strike, the government soon amended the proposal to include a bonus payment, which union leaders and social activists believe it’s not enough.

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