Argentina - education
Argentina has a well-developed education system with free public education at
all levels of education. In addition, state subsidies are provided to private
schools. Already the Constitution of 1853 stipulated that the provinces should
ensure all a free primary school education. Illiteracy is the lowest in Latin
America. Only 3% of 10-15 year olds are illiterate (1990), and more than 25% of
a cohort receive education above primary school level.
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The school system consists of a voluntary three-year pre-school, a seven-year
compulsory primary school and general or specialized education for four to six
years at upper secondary level. The provinces design and administer primary
education within the framework of national guidelines. Several provinces have
broken the traditionally strong bond between the Catholic Church and the school
by introducing a non-religious primary school following the French model. At the
upper secondary level, there are both state and provincial schools, and the
universities are predominantly state institutions.
In upper secondary schools, business schools and vocational schools,
intermediate educations are offered in trade, agriculture, art and technology as
well as preparation for higher education. Here, the first years of teaching aim
at a general education, while in the last school years specialization in various
academic and practical subjects is offered. Graduation at high school level is
also offered as adult education at three-year evening schools.
The core of higher education is made up of seven older, national
universities. The oldest is the University of Córdoba from 1613, and the largest
and most important is the University of Buenos Aires with over 200,000 students
(1992). In addition, there are more than 50 newer universities (5000-10,000
students), of which approximately half are private and generally Catholic. Of the
almost 1 million students at universities and colleges study approximately 15% at
OFFICIAL NAME: Argentina
CAPITAL CITY: Buenos Aires
POPULATION: 40,100,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 2,736,690 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Spanish, immigrant language, Italian, English and German, as well
as a few Native American languages, quechua
RELIGION: Catholics 92%, Protestants 2%, Jews 2%, others 4%
CURRENCY CODE: YEARS
ENGLISH NAME: Argentina
POPULATION COMPOSITION: whites (especially of Spanish and Italian origin) 97%, mestizos, Indians and
GDP PER residents: $ 8096 (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 71 years, women 78 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.863
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 36
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .year
Argentina, Federal Republic of South America. The country stretches 3700 km
from Bolivia in the north to Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) in the south and
is bounded on the west by the Andes Mountains and on the east by the Atlantic
Ocean. Argentina is a large and sparsely populated country, which in many areas
resembles Southern Europe.
The country has South America's third largest economy, but has experienced
recurring economic crises. The country consists of 22 provinces as well as the
federal district of Buenos Aires and the national territory of Tierra del Fuego.
Argentina - the church
The Franciscans came as the first Christian missionaries in 1534. In 1584 the
Jesuits followed with colleges and universities for the immigrant Europeans; the
created reductions, i.e. gathering of the Native
American population in villages (see Andean Indians). The Jesuits were expelled
in 1762. After 1816, anti-clerical groups came to power. They sought to combat
the church by excluding the Catholic clergy from leading positions and
obstructing religious instruction in public schools.
President Perón sought the support of the church by giving it an official
place in society from 1946, but from 1952 he swung around. Since the fall of
Perón, the Church has sought to avoid conflict with the changing governments,
and it is conservatively led. 90% of the country's population is Catholic.
Argentina - constitution and form of government
The constitution is from 1853; last change is from 1994. The executive power
lies with the president, who is elected by direct election for a four-year term
and can be immediately re-elected for another term. He must obtain at least 45%
of the votes cast or 40% if he has at least 10% more votes than an opposing
candidate. The president and vice president must profess the Roman Catholic
faith and be Argentines by birth. The President appoints all officials. As part
of a curtailment of the president's power, a post of chief of staff was
introduced in 1994, almost equivalent to prime minister; he is accountable to
The Parliament, the National Congress, consists of two chambers,
the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. The Senate has 72 seats, and each year
is 1/3 of the members on the choice for a six-year
period. The 254 members of the Chamber of Deputies are elected by direct
election; half are elected every two years for a four-year period.
Each province also has its own governor and legislature, which deals with all
matters not explicitly assigned to the central government. After the Falklands
War in 1982, the provinces have regained some of the influence they had lost to
the central government up through the 1970's and 1980's.
Argentina - parties and movements
In Argentine politics, parties have traditionally played a smaller role than
the military and trade union movement. Only the Radical Party and the Peronist
Party have shaped the country's development. The Radical Party, which is the
oldest, was founded in 1890 and is a moderate left-wing party with historical
roots in the middle classes. During Juan Perón's first reign (1946-55), the
party split into La Unión Cívica Radical del Pueblo (People's Civil Radical
Union), led by Arturo Illia, and Unión Cívica Radical Intransigente (Consistent
Radical Bourgeois Union) led by Arturo Frondizi.
The Peronist movement constitutes the most politically influential current in
Argentina. The term "Peronism" covers a number of parties, ranging from
right-wing national populism to extreme left-wing orientation, each of which
presents different interpretations of Perón's policies. On the right wing, there
are several conservative parties organized in the Unión del Pueblo Argentino
(Argentine People's Union) and La Federación Nacional de Partidos de Centro
(National Association of Center Parties) with very limited political influence.
The left is represented by the Socialist Party, which is of social democratic
observance, and which led the trade union movement from 1922 until Perón took
power. The Socialist Party was later split and has no significance in the
1990's. The Communists have always been a marginal party without professional and
In the late 1960's, a number of guerrilla movements emerged,
including Montoneros and Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo (People's
Revolutionary Army). These organizations, which drew inspiration from the Cuban
revolution, fought the military dictatorship but were literally liquidated by
army death squads in the "dirty war" of the mid-1970's.
Argentina - economy
After World War II, the Argentine economy has been plagued by a number of
recurring problems: government budget deficits, inflation and the balance of
In the 1950's, the Peronists nationalized large parts of the economy, but the
transition was not profitable and the already existing state budget deficit
grew. At the same time, a relaxed monetary policy was pursued, and the result
was rising inflation and frequent changes of currency - four times from 1970-91.
From 1976-81, the then military government tried to initiate liberalizations,
within the banking system, but interest rates rose significantly and became
a burden on industry, which was already suffering from an overvalued currency
and low domestic demand.
In connection with the Falklands War, inflation rose to more than 400% in
1982, and in 1985 the government introduced an anti-inflationary economic
program. The main elements were price and wage control, a new currency and a
goal of not letting money issue finance the deficit in the state
budget. Inflation fell sharply, but fiscal discipline failed to be maintained,
and inflation rose again.
In the late 1980's, Argentina experienced a severe economic crisis with
declining production and, for the first time, real hyperinflation. However,
President and Prime Minister Carlos Menem succeeded in reversing the trend with
a comprehensive reform program. The cornerstones of the program have been
privatization and liberalization, including expanded access for foreign
investment, combined with a monetary stabilization program.
The former currency austalwas in 1991 converted to peso in the ratio
10,000: 1. At the same time, the peso was pegged to the dollar in a 1: 1
ratio. The inflation rate has fallen sharply and was less than 10% at the end of
1993. The renewed confidence in the purchasing power of money was the beginning
of a period marked by increasing economic activity. Interest rates fell, and
private consumption and investment increased in strength. Thus, in both 1991 and
1992, economic growth was around 8%. The recovery led to a sharp increase in
imports, while exports suffered from the international downturn. The consequence
was a considerable deficit on the trade balance, which in combination with
especially large interest payments abroad in 1992 and 1993 resulted in a large
balance of payments deficit. In 1993, the government introduced a number of
temporary measures restricting imports in the form of quotas and tariffs on a
wide range of goods. The duration of the measures will depend on the country's
ability to boost exports, which in 1992 accounted for more than 60% of food and
In 1982, Argentina went into a serious debt crisis, and the country has
repeatedly had to renegotiate loan terms. The debt problems can be illustrated
by that the external debt in 1992 was 4 1/2 times that
of the export revenue. The success of reducing inflation and maintaining a tight
fiscal policy has led the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank
to resume support for the country, which facilitates Argentina's access to
international capital markets. At the turn of the year 2001-02, the country got
into difficulties as it again could not pay interest on the huge foreign
debt. The difficulties arose despite the fact that Argentina is now a
significant oil and natural gas producer. Through the 1990's, production almost
Denmark's foreign trade with Argentina is modest. Among the most important
Danish export products are medical and pharmaceutical products as well as
special machines for industry. Denmark's imports from Argentina consist
predominantly of feed.
Argentina - social conditions
In the 1930's, Argentina was one of the ten richest countries in the world. It
is far from more, but still belongs to Latin America's most developed
nations. This includes in terms of literacy, life expectancy, calorie
consumption and GDP per capita. residents
The relatively high standard of living has contributed to a large influx of
immigrants from neighboring countries (2-3 million); the majority live in
growing slums around the big cities. The country is characterized by growing
regional disparities, especially between city and country, and deteriorating
conditions for the broad middle and working class. Economic reforms under
President Carlos Menem (since 1989) have reduced the number of civil servants
and increased unemployment (14% in 1994). The rule of law is weakened by growing
corruption, and crime is on the rise, but remains a much smaller problem than in
countries such as Brazil, Peru and Colombia.
Around 2000, a financial and economic crisis has hit virtually the entire
population of Argentina, and welfare is in deep crisis. All sections of society
are experiencing widespread unemployment, every second Argentine is living in
poverty, and more and more are not getting enough to eat.
Argentina - health conditions
Argentina spends 4% of its national product on health care; by comparison,
the USA uses 14% and Denmark 7%. The public sector's share of health expenditure
is almost half. In the central state budget, 3.5% is used for health. A large
part of the population is covered by health insurance.
The hospital service has 4.8 beds per. 1000 residents, and number of
admissions per. year is 46 pr. 1000 residents The country has three doctors
per. 1000 residents, but only one nurse per five doctors. There are
significant differences between the individual parts of the country in terms of
coverage of benefits from the health service, which also applies to the
incidence of the disease.
Life expectancy is over 70 years and continues to rise. Population growth is
1.3% per capita. years, and the birth rate has been declining slightly since
World War II.
The causes of death do not differ from what is seen in Europe. The most
common cause of death is cardiovascular disease. Child mortality is 25 per. 1000
live births. The proportion of infectious diseases has been significantly
reduced in recent decades.
Despite a high average caloric intake, deficiency diseases are seen, thus
having approximately one-fifth of preschool children anemia due to an inadequate iron
supply. The average alcohol consumption and cigarette consumption is about the
same as in Denmark, and lung cancer is the most common form of cancer in men.
approximately 60% of the population has a satisfactory water supply, however, more
inadequate in rural areas.
Argentina - military
The peacekeeping force of the armed forces (2006) is 71,400. The army (Ejército
Argentino) of 41,400 is organized into nine brigades of different
types. The Navy's (Armada Argentina) crew is 17,500 (2,000 in the
Navy's Air Force and 2,500 in the Marine Corps), and the Air Force's (Fuerza
Aérea Argentina) 12,500. The larger units of the fleet are used vessels
from Western Marines. Most of the Air Force's equipment is out of date.
Argentina - mass media
Argentina's print press has been Latin America's leader for decades because
it has combined objectivity and reliability with literary quality. In
particular, La Prensa won international recognition for its coverage of
the conditions under Perón. But the junta's restrictions on press freedom
followed by the country's economic crisis, together with the widespread use of
electronic media, have weakened the daily press.
All types of dailies are represented, from world-class quality newspapers as
two of the country's oldest, La Prensa (grdl. 1869) and La Nación (grdl.
1870), to more sensational tabloid newspapers such as Crónica (grdl.
1963). Other major newspapers are Clarín (grdl. 1945), Pagina 12 (grdl.1987),
the financial magazine Ambito Financiero (grdl. 1976) and the popular
newspaper Diario El Popular (grdl. 1974). The media concentration in
Buenos Aires is high, but many cities have local newspapers.
The large national news agency TELAM (Telenoticiosa Americana, grdl. 1945)
has had noticeable competition from southern European agencies that established
themselves early in Latin America. Other important news agencies are Diarios y
Noticias (DYN) and Noticias Argentinas (NA).
Radio and television are the main sources of information for the
majority of the population. A few hundred radio stations are spread across the
country with the large national network, Radio Nacional, as the most
influential. There are five major national television networks (2006). The
state-run Canal 7 (formerly Argentina Televisora Color) broadcasts mostly news
and cultural programs and is not as popular as the private Canal 13 and Telefé,
which, among other things, broadcasts telenovelas, sitcoms and reality shows
like Big Brother. Cable TV is very common.
Argentina - visual arts and architecture
Argentina's indigenous people are known for their handicrafts, especially
ceramics, silverware and wicker baskets of natural fibers. From silver they have
made objects for religious use, equipment for horses and more
When the Spaniards came to the country in the 1500's, many Indians were
trained by the Jesuit missionaries in wood carving and painting, and they worked
with Spanish artists in decorating churches. A sculptural art of
significance emerged only in the late 1800's. with The Academic Art of F.
Cafferatas and L. Correa Morales. In the early 1900-t. worked the sculptor
Rogelio Yrurtia (1879-1950), influenced by Rodin, with public monuments,
and around 1920, the works of Pablo Curatela Manes (1891-1962) and A. Sibellino
testified to the change of form language caused by the avant-garde. The impulses
came from Europe and the United States, and around 1940 the abstract form of
expression and the innovation that lay in the use of materials such as iron,
polyethylene and acrylic paved the way for artists such as Enio Iommi, Rogelio
Polesello (1939-2014) and Gyula Kosice (1924-2016); the sculptors Alicia Peñalba
(1918-82) and Julio Le Parc (b. 1928) have mostly worked in France.
In the field of painting, the European roots appeared in works with an
academic touch. Prilidiano Pueyrredon (1823-70), C. Pellegrini and C. Morel,
with their portraits and genre pictures from everyday life, were the most
prominent in 1800's art. In the 1900's. Argentina has not lagged behind the
international artistic movements and trends. Among the most important painters
are Emilio Pettoruti (1892-1971), Xul Solar (1887-1963), Antonio Berni
(1905-81), Quinquela Martin, Lino Sillimbergo, A. Hlito and Raquel Forner
In the 1700's. the Jesuits played a very significant role in the development
of an Argentine architecture. Their buildings had thick walls and wooden
roofs. In Buenos Aires, the churches of San Ignacio (1722), Nuestra Señora del
Pilar (1732) and Cabildo are good examples of this architecture. Simultaneously
with the great immigration from Europe in the decades around 1900, there was a
strong trend towards the eclectic in architecture: French luxury in private
homes, English influence on the design of railway stations and Italian on the
state buildings. Later, architecture has been linked to international
functionalism in particular.
Argentina - literature
The search for a national identity has characterized Argentine literature
since its inception after the Declaration of Independence in 1810. Domingo
Sarmiento's philosophical-documentary novel Facundo, civilización y barbarie (1845)
laid the foundation for the still current identity discussion. In this
dictatorial novel, the concept of civilization stands for European and North
American culture, while barbarism denotes the raw and natural way of life of the
primitive rural population that thrived under Rosas' dictatorship
approximately 1835-52. Sarmiento argues for the Europeanization of Argentina as the
only path to cultural and economic progress. The showdown between Rosa and his
intellectual opponents is described in novel form in José Mármols Amalia (1851,
da.Amalie, 1874 as a serial). Esteban Echeverria's short story El
matadero (1838, ed. 1871, The Slaughterhouse) is seen as the first
description of this conflict. As a contribution to the debate came in 1872 José
Hernández's epic poem Martin Fierro, which glorifies the gaucho,
the traditional cattle herder, who with this work was transformed into
a symbol of the true Argentine. Realism in the early 1900's. has Manuel Gálvez as
its most prominent exponent. His novels reflect the nascent social crisis in a
glorification of past values and with a social critique rooted in a very
In the 1920's, modernism emerged with the aesthetics of language as its main
characteristic. Ricardo Güiraldes' gaucho novel Don Segundo Sombra (1926,
then 1957) is an offshoot of this style. During this period, two directions
emerge, which find concrete expression in the literary groupings "Boedo" and
"Florida". The first, technically inspired by the great Russian narrators, is
populist with a clear social commitment. Through the theater movement Teatro del
Pueblo in particular, it provides a picture of the rootless and futureless child
of immigrants in Buenos Aires. The Florida group, which published the magazine
Martín Fierro until 1927, formed an elitist avant-garde movement with the
poet Jorge Luis Borgesat the head. Borges later laid the groundwork for a strong
Argentine short story tradition with his poetic-philosophical essays and short
stories. He describes life as a labyrinth with cognition and thus death as its
In the 1930's and 1940's, Eduardo Mallea and Leopoldo Marechal posited a
contradiction between the apparent and the real Argentina in a metaphysical
quest for spiritual perfection. From 1931, Victoria Ocampo (1890-1979) published
the journal Sur in collaboration with a circle of intellectuals. Ernesto
Sábato became known in 1948 with an authorship that has strong ties to
psychoanalysis and can be described as a synthesis of the two mentioned elitist
and populist directions. After the fall of Perón in 1955, a new form of realism
emerged with political-historical novels on a Marxist basis and fictitious
courses of action based on historical and political events. Julio Cortázarwrote
partly very realistic short stories, partly fantastic stories, where reality
through an ingenious use of language becomes intangible for the reader. His
novels are also characterized by a considerable desire to experiment both
linguistically and narratively. Manuel Puig followed up the experiments by
incorporating features from the mass culture (film, trivial and crime novel)
into his novels; best known is El beso de la mujer araña (1976, da.
The Spider Woman's Kiss, 1980, filmed 1985). In parallel, a completely
different literature emerged with a subdued melancholy intimate realism that
meticulously registers the sensed details. The military dictatorship of 1976-83
forced a large number of intellectuals into exile, especially to Mexico and
Spain. In this period, both poetry, prose and drama deal partly with the problem
of exile, and partly with organized violence against the individual.
Since the 1980's, Argentina has been characterized by great literary activity,
not only in Buenos Aires, which has traditionally set the tone, but also more
and more in the culturally very different, provincial hinterland.
Argentina - dance
Dance in Argentina has developed under several different influences. After
European colonization, the original Native American dance and music culture was
supplanted in favor of the Spanish and Portuguese. Argentina's most famous dance
is the passionate tango that originated in the 1890's and which quickly became
extremely popular in American and European ballroom dancing.
The stage dance in the 19th century consisted mainly of guest performances by
European ballet troupes. This continues in the 20th century, when the Teatro
Colón in Buenos Aires (opened in 1857) since its renovation in 1908 has also
been home to both a dance school and a ballet company.
The most famous dancer from here is the ballet dancer Julio Bocca (b. 1967),
who in 1990 formed the company Ballet Argentino. The Spanish dancer family
Pericet has since the middle of the 20th century at a school and performed at
various theaters in Buenos Aires pure the classical Spanish ballet, the bolero
school. There are also a number of modern dance companies, including Teatro San
Martin's dance company from 1968.
Argentina - music
For many, the tango is the epitome of Argentine music. It originated in
Buenos Aires in the 1890's, but is only one among many of the country's musical
forms of expression.
Folk music. The music of Spanish colonizers and immigrants in
Argentina has developed its own tone and form with significant regional
differences. Dance music is an important part of the country's culture.
Common dances are chacarera, zamba (not to be confused
with the Brazilian samba), gato and cueca, each with its own
rhythmic character. Waltz and polka are also used. The instruments of the dance
music are guitar, violin, bass drum, accordion and the related bandoneon. In the
past, the harp was also common and is still used in the northeastern
regions. There is a rich, ancient tradition of lyrical and narrative folk songs
for guitar accompaniment (tonadas, estillos, milongas).
In addition, songs in dance rhythms such as cueca and zamba are common and
are often heard in modern folk music groups. In the highlands of northwestern
Argentina, the Native American-Spanish mixed population has very strong and
vibrant musical traditions. The ancient song form baguala is an example
of the meeting between Native American and Spanish.
The language and verse language are Spanish, while the melody, which spans
only three notes, and the singer's small caja drum are Native
American. The Baguala song belongs in the carnival week, which is the most
important event of the year both socially and musically. The traditional
carnival processions go singing through the city, and there is dancing every
night throughout the week. Native American flutes and the string instrument charango are
part of processions and dance orchestras. In particular, the city of Humahuaca
(Jujuy) near the border with Bolivia is locally known for its large carnival.
In the lowlands of northern Argentina and in the southern border with Chile,
traditional non-assimilated Native American groups, still associated with cult
and celebrations of the year and life, still live. The instruments are
Jewish harp, musical bow and various types of flute. In the Land of Fire,
the last woman from the ona tribe sang a series of shaman songs in
Classical music. The Spaniards brought European Renaissance music
and its instruments to Argentina, and the Jesuits used music instruction in
connection with Christianity.
From the middle of the 18th century, singing games (zarzuela) and
opera were performed in Buenos Aires, following the Spanish model. The
Teatro Colón, South America's most important opera stage, was inaugurated
with the rebuilding of the theater in 1908. In the late 1800's and early 1900's,
the composers were distinctly nationally oriented and based on Argentina's folk
Significant composers after World War II are Alberto Ginastera (1916-83),
Mauricio Kagel (b. 1931) and Alejandro Viñao (b. 1951).
Argentina - film
The level of early Argentine film was set with El fusilamiento de Dorrego (1908,
The Execution of Dorrego), a historical drama by the Italian immigrant
Mario Gallo (1878-1945).
The sound film led to a rapid growth of popular genre films in which
the tango dominated. A star such as singer Libertad Lamarque (1908-2000) also
helped make Argentine film the leader in Latin America.
Under Perón (1946-55), freedom of speech was restricted and many artists went
into exile. 1956-76 the Argentine avant-garde flourished: Leopoldo Torre Nilsson
(1924-78) provided with La casa del ángel (1957, The House with the
Angel) Argentine film the worldwide attention, and the Cine Liberación group
(Fernando Solanas, O. Getino and G. Vallejo) created the unique work La
hora de los hornos (1966-68, The Hour of the Furnace), a
political and stylistic alternative to both American and European film.
After the dictatorship of 1976-83, Buenos Aires once again became the
artistic focal point of Latin American film. Argentina contributes at film
festivals with creative talents such as Luis Puenzo (b. 1946), Oscar winner 1985
with La historia oficial (The official truth),
the surrealistically inspired Eliseo Subiela (b. 1944) and not least Fernando
Solanas (b. 1936), who 1992 received special honors in Cannes for his El
viaje (The Journey); among the younger directors is Daniel Burman (b. 1973)
with the bittersweet comedy El abrazo partido (2004, Ariel's world).
Argentina - wine
Argentina is the world's fifth largest wine country. At approximately 400,000 ha of
vineyards are produced annually 40 million. hl (1993). The first vineyard was
built in 1566 by the Jesuit priest's father Cedron. He planted the grape criolla,
which is still grown for the many heavy and characterless daily wines. The
best wines are made mainly from French grape varieties. Malbec, cabernet
sauvignon and merlot dominate the red wines, while excellent white
wines are made from chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, sémillon and riesling. Argentina
has in recent years gained increasing importance as a producer of quality wines,
which is due to stable and good growth conditions, as well as investments.
Argentina does not have an appellation contrôlée system like the
French, but the origin of the good wines is always stated on the label. In
the Mendoza region, 70% of the country's wines are made. The secondary bordeaux
grape malbec produces robust and powerful red wines here. The best cabernet
sauvignon wines are, after a few years of barrel aging, on a par with the
better known ones from Chile. In San Juan and La Rioja are most alcohol-rich
white wines, dessert wines and heavy liqueur. In the small region of Catamarca,
grapes are mainly grown for spirits, while the cooler vineyards in the mountains
of the Salta to the north give full-bodied and aromatic white wines of the local
grape torrontes. The southern region of Rio Negro has great
opportunities for making quality wines, but there are still only a few wineries.
Argentine wines are meant to accompany food and they should be drunk
young. Only the best cabernet sauvignon wins by bottle storage.