General strike in support of Peru's poor

 General strike in support of Peru's poor
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Peru has been hit by a general strike and street protests, to demonstrate against the policies of the country’s president Alan Garcia. They are angry that the poor in Peru have not benefited from six years of booming economic growth, brought by his free-market reforms.

One union leader said it is a government of the rich and the multi-nationals.

Thousands of marchers in the capital Lima urged Garcia to resign, and accused him of being a traitor to his socialist roots.

Peru’s mining sector is booming, with a strong demand for its metals from India and China.

But trade unions say the majority of the wealth in concentrated in the big cities near the coast, and little benefit has filtered to rural areas, where the poverty level is 65 per cent, three times higher than in the capital.

Protestors are also angry about a trade deal with the US, which has opened the doors to cheap American goods.

It is proving a headache for President Garcia, whose approval rating is at 30 per cent.

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