(pronounced "ehd-WAHR-doh doo-HALL-day")
"It's been we Argentines and Argentine leaders—fundamentally, political leaders—who have led this country to this [economic] situation that afflicts us, anguishes us—and shames us."
The Argentine Republic is located on the southern half of the South American continent and extends to the southernmost tip of the continent. It is bordered to the east by the Atlantic Ocean and Uruguay, to the northeast by Brazil and Paraguay, to the northwest by Bolivia, and to the west by Chile. It is the second-largest country in South America, with a total area of 2,766,890 sq km (1,073,400 sq mi) and a population of approximately 37.8 million in 2002. Argentina also claims the Falkland Islands (which are known locally as the Islas Malvinas), the South Sandwich Islands, South Georgia, and part of Antarctica. The capital is Buenos Aires and 13.9 million people live in that metropolitan district.
Argentina has long been a country of immigrants; 97% of Argentines are of European descent, primarily Spanish and Italian. The official language is Spanish; other important languages spoken in Argentina are reflective of the European immigrant populations: Spanish, French, German, Italian, and English. There is also a significant Arabic population in the northwestern part of the country. The official religion is Roman Catholicism and 92% of Argentines are Catholic.
Argentina's major exports are agricultural products, primarily grain and beef grown on the pampas. The Argentine unit of currency is the new peso which replaced the austral in January 1992; it was fixed at parity with the U.S. dollar until January 2002, when a currency crisis occurred in the country. As of 2000 inflation was less than 4% and unemployment was 14%; per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at US $12,900 in 2000. As of 2002, these statistics held little meaning after the financial chaos that ensued in late 2001.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Web site: http://www.presidencia.gov.ar