Crime is the biggest concern for many of her critics.
Argentine newspapers and television programs provide a daily diet of stories about increasingly bold home invasion robberies, in which armed bands tie up families until victims hand over the cash that many Argentines have kept in their homes since the government froze savings accounts and devalued the currency in 2002. The vast majority of the crimes are never solved, while the death toll is rising.
Inflation also upsets many, as the government’s much-criticized index puts inflation at about 10 percent annually, or as little as a third of the estimates of private economists. As a result, real estate transactions have slowed to a standstill, given the difficulty of estimating the future value of contracts. And unions that won 25 percent pay hikes only a few months ago are threatening to strike again unless the government comes up with more.
The phrase ‘‘Cristina or nothing’’ was stenciled onto the sides of buildings surrounding the Plaza de Mayo, the iconic square facing the presidential pink palace.
Demonstrators at Plaza de Mayo held signs accusing the president of arrogance. While some featured a lengthy list of demands. Others simply said ‘‘basta’’ — enough.
‘‘I agree with many of the things she’s done but I don’t agree with her method,’’ said Barbara Torino, a psychologist. ‘‘The state has to do everything within the confines of the law or else it can easily lead to state terrorism.’’
Associated Press writers Michael Warren, Almudena Calatrava and Emily Schmall in Buenos Aires; Frances D'Emilio in Rome; Jorge Sainz in Madrid; and Luis Andres Henao in Santiago, Chile, contributed to this report.