>> Thousands of Argentines stood in line for free fruit next to the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace on Tuesday as vendors handed out more than 11 tons of free produce. The farmers are protesting price distortions caused by the countries 40% inflation rate, one of the highest in the world.
Reuters correspondent Hugh Bronstein is in Buenos Aires.>> Inflation has long been a problem in the Argentine economy. Mauricio Macri won the presidency last year with the promise to reduce inflation and spark economic growth. So far, it's been difficult. He said, originally, that in the second half of this year there was gonna be an economic recovery.
That recovery has been slow to manifest itself. The inflation rate is going down, but not fast enough to suit these fruit producers.>> The lines on Tuesday lasted for hours. Twisting around the Plaza de Mayo with low income families eager to get produce from growers. Who are loosing money on every apple and pear they sell.
It costs producers four and a half pesos about 30 cents to produce a kilo of apples. That's a little more than two pounds. And even though consumers in Buenos Aires pay almost ten times that, the producers only get paid three pesos. Macri says he's pushing for legislation that would rid Latin America's third largest economy of prize distortions caused by the interventionist policies of his predecessor Christina Fernandez.
But as frustration grows, the government has faced a series of protests in recent weeks over the economy.>> The question is, is the population, people with this level of frustration going to give him the time to get the rest of his program through congress. There are gonna be legislative elections next year, they're gonna be key to Macri's ability to get the rest of his program through.
>> Macri expects to cut inflation in half by next year, but that may not be soon enough for many in Argentina.