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Anger in Argentina as power cuts persist

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 01:35

Dec. 31 - Anger on the streets of Buenos Aires as power and water cuts continue amid scorching temperatures. Sarah Toms reports.

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PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Anger on the streets of Argentina as temperaments and temperatures rise. Residents of Buenos Aires set fire to rubbish bags and tyres on the roads and bang the poles of traffic lights, protesting against power cuts. The demonstrations have caused long traffic jams, blocking many of the main roads, as people try to leave the capital for the New Year festivities. These protesters are demanding government action on power shortages that have been affecting many parts of the city. Hundreds of thousands of people have suffered power cuts. Some neighbourhoods have been without power for two weeks. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RESIDENT GABRIEL JANO, SAYING: "The electricity came on on the 24th, we had it until the evening of the 25th and we haven't had any more until today. This is a disaster. On top of this nobody comes, nobody shows their faces, not Edesur, not the mayor's office, nobody shows their face." The authorities are blaming the energy crisis on Buenos Aires' worst heatwave in decades, with temperatures over 38C. The government is supplying emergency help for those in need amidst the high temperatures. But the opposition accuses the government of mismanaging the crisis. . (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MAYOR OF BUENOS AIRES, MAURICIO MACRI, SAYING: "We are very critical of how they (government) have managed the power grid, we have said it not just once but we have been saying it for almost a decade, and this is only the result of bad policies." For years Argentina's ageing power grid has been struggling to keep up with demand, which surges as the temperatures rise.

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Anger in Argentina as power cuts persist

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 01:35