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End-of-year chaos: power cuts, strikes and street brawls

December can often be feverish in Argentina, and 2020 could not be the exception

By | [email protected] | December 22, 2020 7:29pm

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-Hundreds of thousands of porteños were left in the dark yesterday, after a fire near a high tension station in the south of the city led to massive electricity outages. The Constitución, Flores, Mataderos, Parque Chacabuco, Caballito, Villa Luro and Liniers neighborhoods were the most affected, although many others reported a loss of service throughout the day, with traffic lights and subways among those suffering the consequences.

-In a country with financial holes all over the place, debt troubles are to be expected, and that was the case with the train workers’ union-ran health insurance program, which was owed 140 million pesos in state compensations, leading to a massive strike that led half a million passengers without train services connecting Buenos Aires Province with Buenos Aires City.

-With Christmas fast approaching, the rush for presents has caused massive gatherings in densely commercial areas, raising fears of faster COVID-19 transmission rates, but things got even worse yesterday when a violent brawl broke out in the populous Avenida Avellaneda commercial district between shop owners and street salesmen. The conflict for the use of public space and sidewalks is typical, but it can get more heated in peak times such as this one.

-After controversy over the reasons why Argentina’s talks to buy COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer fell through, the country’s ANMAT regulatory agency approved the company’s jab for emergency use during the pandemic, following on the footsteps of the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.