According to a statement published on October 11 by the Confederation of Education Workers (CTERA), the union representing teachers across the country, a nationwide strike will take place on October 24 owing to labor-disputes, especially the perceived deterioration of the country's education budget. Furthermore, CTERA and various left-leaning groups are calling supporters to take part in a protest outside Congress during morning and evening hours, while lawmakers debate the 2019 budget. CTERA has further announced that supporters would demonstrate for as long as the 2019 budget is being debated.
In light of surmounting grievances due to expected budget cuts, we assess that tensions are likely to increase if the outcome of sessions at Congress is perceived as favorable to the government’s preferences. President Mauricio Macri will likely invest political capital and negotiate with the opposition in an attempt to approve the 2019 budget promptly, especially ahead of the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires in late November. Given Argentina’s international commitments, especially in terms of reducing public deficit, failure to approve a budget aligned with the government's outlook will probably undermine prospects of attracting foreign capital and investments, and deteriorate confidence in Macri’s ability to successfully carry out fiscal reforms recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In any event, demonstrations outside Congress are liable to attract large crowds and cause significant traffic disruptions in the city center. While these could potentially turn unruly, it is also plausible that violent activists infiltrate the demonstrations and scuffle with security services.
Those operating or residing in Buenos Aires on October 24 and over the coming days are advised to exercise vigilance in the city center given potential for unruly demonstrations, and to anticipate traffic disruptions.