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BRIEFLY / GLOBAL ECONOMY

Argentina's Interior Minister Quits in Protest

March 17, 2001|Associated Press

Argentina's powerful Interior minister, Federico Storani, resigned to protest a dramatic round of austerity measures intended to revive the nation's economy. The new turmoil in the cabinet of President Fernando de la Rua came as the government prepared to announce measures aimed at curbing government spending, restoring investor confidence and pulling the country from a nearly three-year recession. The departure of Storani, a key figure in De la Rua's 15-month-old administration, marked the second cabinet crisis in recent weeks. Lopez Murphy took over the top economic job during a cabinet shake-up when his predecessor, Jose Luis Machinea, quit under pressure March 2. Argentina's economic woes have at times threatened to unravel global emerging markets and have severely tested the durability of De la Rua's ruling coalition. After taking over, Murphy laid out his belt-tightening program that would explore the possible sale of government assets, including stakes in railway, airlines and energy companies, and trimming retiree benefits.

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