Saturday, June 22, 2024

ARGENTINA | 19-04-2024 16:18

Universities deny claims of funding deal, confirm April 23 strike

CIN National Inter-University Council denies government's claim that funding deal has been reached and renews call for April 23 protest.“It’s vital to make the situation we’re going through visible,” they stated.

Argentina's cash-strapped universities have denied claims that a funding deal has been reached with the government and says it will march to defend state education next week.

Public universities nationwide have called a national march for next Tuesday which is expected to be massive.

After government officials suggested that a deal had been reached between the two sides, the CIN national university council on Friday rejected reports of an agreement and confirmed it will stage a demonstration on April 23.

Via a press release, education bosses said an offer made by Sandra Pettovello's Human Capital Ministry was not "an agreement, but an announcement from the government."

Students and teachers from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) protested last week with public classes in the street and symbolic embraces of buildings against the drastic austerity introduced by President Javier Milei, which the institution's bosses says could lead to the institution closing its doors in a few months' time.

Milei has not updated the budget of the university, which must run on 2023 funds when the country is suffering 288 percent annual inflation. Last month the government had also announced a 70-percent increase for the running expenses of national universities

The CIN insisted Friday that “increases are needed for operational expenses and students’ scholarships, an update of the salaries of teachers and other staff and a reinstatement of science, research and expansion policies, and the financing of works."

It insisted the protest would be "a vital activity to make visible the situation the national university and science system is going through.”

Education authorities say they are waiting for a meeting with government officials. They said they would attend if invited.


Massa will be there

Next Tuesday's demonstration is likely to be large. And among those in attendance will be the man who lost to Milei in last year's presidential run-off: Sergio Massa.

The Frente Renovador leader announced Friday that he would take part in the demonstration in defence of public universities.

The former economy minister shared on his Instagram page a promotional image from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) calling for demonstrators to march to the Plaza de Mayo.

#YoVoy” ("I'm going"), wrote Massa.

Over the last few days, the former Peronist presidential hopeful has replied and retweeted posts by UBA, the nation's most iconic higher educational institution.

After his defeat in last year's run-off, Massa has adopted an extremely low profile and made barely any noteworthy public appearances.

In March he took part in the Frente Renovador’s national congress, at which the party elected the space's new authorities.



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