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14 Jan, 2024 11:11

'No more barbecues' for Argentinians – Reuters

The inflation rate in the South American country is among the highest in the world
'No more barbecues' for Argentinians – Reuters

Argentina’s traditional asado barbecue is no longer affordable for many households due to soaring meat and vegetable prices, according to a Reuters report this week.

The word ‘asado’, which is derived from the Spanish word for ‘roasted’, refers both to the unique grilling method for Argentinian barbecue and also to the vibrant social gathering among friends that traditionally accompanies the meal.

However, with inflation in the country having topped 200% last year, more Argentinians have been further tightening their belts.

“We've had to eliminate things that made life a little brighter,” Argentine retiree Susana Barrio told Reuters. “That joy it gave me to invite my friends for a barbecue, which is typical here, now that's impossible,” the 79-year-old lamented.

Latin America’s third-biggest economy is bearing the brunt of a severe economic crisis after decades of debt and financial mismanagement. An estimated 40% of Argentinians are living in poverty.

According to official statistics, inflation rate hit 25.5% month-on-month in December. It is expected to climb faster in the months ahead after President Javier Milei's government devalued the peso by over 50% last month as part of his so-called ‘shock therapy’ reforms to stabilize the ailing economy.

“You totally lose track of prices,” said Guillermo Cabral, a 60-year-old owner of a butcher shop in Buenos Aires. Cabral told the outlet he had once mistakenly told a customer the price for a particular meat was 35,000 pesos ($43) instead of 15,000 pesos. “The customer took out the money to pay it all the same,” he said.

A 65-year-old retiree, Graciela Bravo, told Reuters she had started carefully counting how many potatoes she buys. “Before you would purchase by the kilo, now I get three potatoes or four potatoes so they don't spoil,” she recounted.

A self-described anarcho-capitalist, Milei, who has been in office for a month, has warned it will take time for the results of his program to be seen and that things could get worse before they get better.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

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