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Argentina appoints new farming chief amid tensions

08 February 2007

ARGENTINA - Argentina's farming sector broadly welcomed on Wednesday the government's decision to replace the agriculture secretary at a time of heightened tension between farmers and the administration.

The government of the South American country -- a leading exporter of beef and grains -- is waging war on rising prices for everyday foods such as meat, bread and dairy products, but its anti-inflation policies have angered farmers.

Agriculture Secretary Miguel Campos resigned and was replaced by former undersecretary Javier de Urquiza, a sheep farmer from Patagonia, official news agency Telam said, a reshuffle that was seen as a generally positive step by leaders of the sector.

"We think it's positive in the sense that the relationship with (Campos) was worn out," said Luciano Miguens, president of the Argentine Rural Society. "It seems just the right time to return to the negotiating table. And we hope it'll be productive."

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Source: Reuters


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