ARGENTINA: Mendoza winemakers call for emergency economic measures
Some 300 Argentine wine producers held a march on 30th October in Mendoza to protest against the economic conditions in Argentina.
The march ended with a rally at the provincial governor's office, where demonstrators asked the government to implement measures to protect the industry.
A nationwide economic crisis has worsened in recent weeks after Argentina's country risk rating was downgraded lower than any other country for fears that the government will default on its debt.
As a result of the crisis, Mendoza winemakers say the price of bulk wines is at one of its lowest prices in recent history, selling for just US$0.07 per litre.
Demonstrators said many wineries have been forced to cease debt payments. They asked the provincial government to protect wineries from their creditors.
The winemakers also asked provincial leaders to declare a social and agricultural emergency in the Mendoza winemaking region. With this declaration, they want the government to defer the industry's tax and utility payments, suspend court injunctions for unpaid debts to the provincial government and protect the wine prices from further drops.
Winemakers in Action Association president Jose Maria Llaver said at the protest that if the government doesn't move immediately to stop the price of wine from falling further, "50 small businesses in Mendoza wine region will default on their loans in November."
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