Thousands of Argentine union workers have marched through the streets of Buenos Aires to protest against President Mauricio Macri's economic reforms and state job cuts. But as Laura Frykberg reports, Macri says the measures are necessary to reduce inflation and bring fresh investment into the country.
On the streets of Buenos Aires. Union workers make their views loud and clear. They're angry at economic reform and job cuts, implemented by President Mauricio Macri. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) STATE WORKERS' ASSOCIATION (ATE) SECRETARY-GENERAL HUGO GODOY, SAYING: "A quarter of a million people have lost their jobs since he took office and that must change. It is Macri's obligation to change that and, if not, it is the workers' obligation to multiply the struggle so he understands and does it." Since his election late last year. Macri's made major changes in Argentina. Like firing government workers, free market reforms and lifting currency controls. He says they'll make Argentina wealthier, attract investment, and reduce inflation. Which soared under his predecessor Cristina Fernandez, and her protectionist policies. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ARGENTINE PRESIDENT, MAURICIO MACRI, SAYING: "This year we will end up with a balance in the final quarter and next year growth will be 3.5 percent, which will be a good starting point." It could get worse before it gets better though. The economy is predicted to shrink by 1.5 percent this year. And inflation could hit as much as 40 percent. Macri says people must be patient for progress. But with protests like this increasing, he may have to work harder to convince the country he's steering it in the right direction.