Violent protests marred a budget session in Argentine, with lawmakers clashing inside the national Congress and demonstrators taking on law enforcement officials outside the building.
According to fresh unconfirmed media reports, nearly 31 have been detained by law enforcement officials.
Several colleagues of ruling party legislator Luis Mario Pastori said that the police were firing rubber bullets onto protestors. Pastori had been making a speech on Wednesday on the 2019 Budget.
"It's a pity that the opposition legislators do not want to hear the words of a government representative. It's an absolutely intolerant and undemocratic act," Efe quoted Pastori as saying.
Within minutes, many of the legislators were on feet, amid frentic tension and shoving.
Speaker Emilio Monzo adjourned the house for 10 minutes.
The clash between police and protesters outside began around noon, after the latter resorted to stone-pelting prompting forces to lob tear gas and water cannon.
After the house resumed, instead of debating the budget bill the opposition demanded that the municipal commissioner and federal Security Minister Patricia Bullrich must appear before the Congress to explain the behavior of security forces.
Opposition members complained that they had been attacked by members of the security forces when they left Congress to interpose themselves between the police and the demonstrators.
The special session was focused on debating the budget bill sent to Congress by the government of conservative President Mauricio Macri, which called for additional austerity measures amid inflation, rising poverty and persistent unemployment.
Here are twitter reactions:
#Argentine police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and waters cannon at protesters who marched on Wednesday in front of Congress against the government's 2019 budget bill, which contains steep spending cuts aimed at erasing the country's fiscal deficit.#MNA pic.twitter.com/LddLnARZqZ— M N A (@mnaEN) October 25, 2018
#Argentine police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons at protesters who marched on Wednesday in front of Congress against the government's 2019 budget bill, which contains steep spending cuts aimed at erasing the country's fiscal deficit.#MNA pic.twitter.com/d4OsEQ9zwy— M N A (@mnaEN) October 25, 2018
Argentine Face au désastre économique dû au budget imposé par le FMI le Peuple se mobilise en masse et le gvt Macri mène une répression féroce pic.twitter.com/BZKpVWOiDI— Enrique Lister 36-39 (@Lister36) October 25, 2018
Wherever the IMF appears on the scene to provide financial assistance, painful government budget cuts seem certain to follow. You just ask to Argentine middle-class people, their time is running out.— Judith.M. Stanford (@jimostanford) October 24, 2018
@julio_aliaga Argentina.Incidents in the congress physical and verbal aggression between senators and deputies against the 2019 budget.multitude of people and unions in the congress protest in front of the congress.— susana palmeiros (@sp78701) October 24, 2018
Furious country with the Monetary fund and with Macri.
Sorry Crypto! Today our Lower Chamber discuss the IMF budget, and there were clashes between infiltrate unknown people with social opposed to IMF policies! #Argentina— Blister (@rolandoleturia) October 24, 2018
Protesters clashes against the police outside of Argentina's National Congress while the lawmakers discuss the 2019 national budget, in Buenos Aires Argentina, Wednesday, Oct.24,2018. The… https://t.co/dWPDBGCoAm— Mario De Fina (@mari0defina) October 24, 2018
With Agency inputs
#BuenosAires: Violent clashes broke out outside Argentina’s Congress as lawmakers discussed next year’s budget. The budget includes new austerity measures including tax hikes and government cuts. More than 18 people detained, many injured.#NoAlPresupuestoDelFMI pic.twitter.com/ZRb0r8q60Y— th1an1 (@th1an1) October 24, 2018