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Argentine farmers halt 16-day protest

Heeding a plea from President Cristina Fernández, Argentine farm groups on Friday ordered a halt to a 16-day protest over new export tariffs that paralysed deliveries of meat, milk and vegetables, helped push up world soya prices, and sparked street protests against the government.

The country’s four main producers’ organizations, who want the government to revoke a new sliding scale of export tariffs on the country’s money-spinning agricultural exports, resolved to end the protest in order to facilitate dialogue, but to remain “on alert”.

In a conciliatory speech on Thursday night, Ms Fernández had “humbly” appealed to farmers to end their action before talks could begin. That was a marked change from her tough stance two days earlier, which was greeted by thousands of people taking to the streets banging pots and pans in irritation at a president who promised widespread institutional change before taking office in December and has yet to deliver.

As farmers eased or removed roadblocks in place across the country’s northern agricultural heartlands, the heads

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