Argentine police protest over pay cuts

Protesters in Buenos Aires. Photo: 3 October 2012 Protesters are now demanding written assurances from the government

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Thousands of military police and coast guards in Argentina have rallied across the country to protest against pay cuts of up to 60%.

In Buenos Aires, angry demonstrators chanted: "Nobody touches our pay." Protests were also held in Cordoba, Rosario and other cities.

Officials reportedly blamed an administrative error for the cuts, promising to fix the problem.

However, the government fired the top officers both in both services.

The demonstrators vowed to continue their protests, demanding written assurances from the government.

"We are workers, like any others, who need to support our families," military police officer Fernando Parodi was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Talks aimed at ending the dispute started on Tuesday and continued late into the night.

However, the government warned the striking officers that violence would not be tolerated.

Argentina has recently seen a number of street protests against economic policies of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Ms Fernandez, who was re-elected last year, is being criticised for high inflation rates and tight currency controls, an increase in crime, and what protesters describe as widespread corruption.

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