Argentina…. The sadness of it all

We have now been in Argentina for 10 days and it is fascinating the change of scenery from the Andes countries has been 180 degrees. The country at first glance is very modern with shops and streets equal to any European city.

Sightseeing has been good and everywhere we been we have had a good time.. However the economy is not good and inflation is raising exponentially.

We got into Argentina and to our shock and horror the inflation has hit this country hard. Officially Inflation is running at 10% unofficially is around 27% depends who you trust (Argentine Government or the IMF) either way you notice how expensive the country is, particularly public transport and utilities.

If you want to exchange dollars and if you go to a regular bank ( BBVA, HSBC Etc) the official exchange rate is 5.62 but when you go to the street dealer, Pawn shops (yes you read it right), or currency exchange business you are getting around 9.5 is a crazy dual economy that is affecting the country as a trained economist I wonder is this sustainable in the long run.

One surprise for us is that many cars here use Natural Gas as fuel and basically have double tanks in their cars a fairly cheap option when Gasoline is very expensive. Export Taxes and duties are high which means their main income (Beef and wine is cheaper to sell domestically than abroad) we came across a few wineries who can no longer export so they just sell to the domestic market.

We notice people buying at restaurants one main meal and the sharing it other things we notice is if you pay in cash you get up to 20 % discount on goods. It is a sad state of affairs and the economic uncertainty here will not help matters until the next Presidential election in 2 years from now.

My first photo is a 100 peso bill:

100 Pesos

The next set of pictures taken are foods currently being taxed by the current government. this are staple food of the Argentine people.

Wine Mate Beef Empanadas

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