INTERNATIONAL

Argentine Cabinet submits resignation

BUENOS AIRES, DEC. 30. The Argentine President, Mr. Adolfo Rodriguez Saa's week-old Cabinet has submitted its collective resignation following renewed unrest over economic policy and unpopular government officials.

However, the Argentine President did receive encouragement from the U.S. President, Mr. George W. Bush, who telephoned Mr. Rodriguez Saa yesterday from his ranch in Crawford, Texas and urged him to stick with the IMF plan. Austerity measures introduced by the Government led to riots that toppled the previous Argentine President, Mr. Fernando De La Rua and threaten Mr. Rodriguez Saa now that rioting has resumed.

``I deeply deplore the incidents of violence overnight Friday to Saturday,'' Mr. Rodriquez Saa said yesterday. ``I call on all Argentines to maintain peace .'' In a statement, Mr. Rodriguez Saa said he had not taken a decision on the resignations. The demonstrators demanded access to their partially frozen bank accounts and the resignation of Presidential advisors tainted by allegations of corruption.

The largely peaceful protest turned violent when a group of teenagers tried to storm the palace and clashed with riot police, who used tear gas and pressure hoses to disperse the crowd. Twelve policemen were injured and six are in serious condition, the federal police said.

Thirty-three demonstrators were detained.

There were no reports of serious injuries among the protesters.

Similar protests last week led to the resignation of Mr. Fernando De La Rua from the presidency. ``We'll have to see what the society is aiming at,'' the Labour Minister, Mr. Oraldo Britos said on entering the Presidential residence.

Speaking at his ranch on Friday, Mr. Bush had said he was prepared to give Argentina ``technical assistance'' through the IMF to its severe economic crisis, but that Buenos Aires must first get its fiscal and monetary policy in order.

- AFP

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