In Argentina, the Senate has approved the state takeover of the country’s private pension schemes, in a move which could protect people from the stock market chaos but also threaten their long-term income.
The government says it is resuming its rightful responsabilities in the face of the global downturn.
But the bill’s critics say eventual payouts could be reduced, and are far from safe, as President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner attempts to “rob Peter to pay Paul”.
One protestor demonstrating in the street said:
“We believe there is just one reason for all this: the government has a cash problem, the government does not have enough money. It has not managed the money it had in the good times and now needs to refinance next year’s debt in this way.”
Some Latin American pension funds have lost 40 per cent of their value this year.
But opponents of the move in Argentina speak of confiscation, outlining the country’s huge debt repayments dating back to 2001.