Argentina Marks 3 Decades of Democracy

Argentina Marks 3 Decades of Democracy

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Thousands of people celebrated Argentina's thirtieth anniversary of return to democratic rule, voicing some satisfaction though it has been a bumpy ride.

"Achieving democracy was anything but easy. Today, 30 years later, this is really a day to celebrate," said Laura Bernstein, 35, a supporter of President Cristina Kirchner's government.

The South American nation of 41 million, populated mostly by descendants of immigrants from Italy and Spain, was under military dictatorship as recently as 1983.

Argentina has been rocked this week as at least nine people were killed in provincial cities where police out on strike pushing for better pay sent people brazenly looting supermarkets and shopping centers, AFP reported.

"We regret the vandalism of these destabilizing elements," singer-songwriter Teresa Parodi said at an outdoor commemoration ceremony.

Kirchner, Argentina's first democratically elected woman president and recovering from surgery for a brain hemorrhage, met with ex-presidents to mark the day.

One of them was Adolfo Rodriguez Saa. His disastrous one-week government in December 2001 was long enough for him to declare the biggest default in Argentine history -- more than $80 billion dollars, sparking a major financial crisis.

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