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Buenos Aires stands firm on tariffs
The Argentine government on Wednesday rejected demands that it change controversial agricultural export tariffs which have helped push up world soy prices 10 per cent and brought thousands of demonstrators on to the streets of Buenos Aires.

Noisy protests by farmers and their supporters on Tuesday night followed an uncompromising speech by President Cristina Fernández defending the new sliding scale of export tariffs on grains and cereals, which she called “profound measures to redistribute income”. Groups loyal to the government also took to the streets and there were isolated clashes.

Agriculture is the backbone of the Argentine economy and high international commodities prices have meant booming exports. But farmers, who say their total tax burden adds up to 73 per cent, feel they are being unfairly squeezed. Two weeks of protests have blocked roads and ports in the north of the country.

Alberto Rodríguez, head of the Argentine Vegetable Oil Chamber and the Cereals Export Centre, said only about 30 trucks were arriving at the main export port of Rosario, compared with

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