Toucan facts, what to eat in Argentina

The 10 Craziest Things About Argentina

1. Argentina is no longer a steak world champion

An average Argentine consumed 63 kilos of beef in 2015 - that's the equivalent of one steak per day and inhabitant (no matter how old). In Germany, statistically speaking, each inhabitant eats only nine kilograms. The export of Argentine beef, on the other hand, has fallen sharply since 2005 from 771,000 tonnes to 190,000 tonnes; in a world comparison, Argentina has slipped from third to eleventh place. The reason for this can be seen in the Argentine government's export bans and restrictions. In this way she wanted to ensure the supply of the citizens at reasonable prices. However, she did not succeed. On the contrary: in the Argentine pampas, the home of cattle, thousands of ranchers had to give up. The result: today a kilo of beef costs around six times more pesos than in 2006 - twice as much in US dollars.

2. BMW sells Argentine rice

The German car manufacturer BMW is one of the largest rice exporters in Argentina. Why? Because the government of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner ordered in 2011 that foreign companies that import products into the country must export goods of the same value to the world. The result: Harley Davidson began selling wine, Porsche became a dealer in olive oil and Hyundai traded in peanuts. The further consequence of these import compensations: there is hardly any iPhone in Argentina because its manufacturer Apple did not want to do any counter-deals.

3. In Buenos Aires, dollars are exchanged for black

The pedestrian zone of Buenos Aires has become a black exchange zone. Passers-by are offered pesos to be illegally exchanged for dollars and euros. Since the Argentine government introduced capital controls to stop the outflow of foreign currency, Argentine citizens hardly have the opportunity to exchange dollars or euros. The result: the black market is flourishing. The official exchange rate is currently 8.10 pesos per US dollar. On the black market you get about 11.80 pesos for the "Dólar blue". The reason why Argentines prefer to invest their savings in euros and dollars is due to the peso's inflation rate, which is a good 30 percent per year.

4. Ketchup or Chimichurri

Argentina's McDonald's branches reported a ketchup shortage in February 2014. The ketchup is imported from Chile. Officially, McDonald's gave no reason for the bottleneck at the time. Rumor has it that the Argentine government with its import restrictions was to blame for the sell-off. However, the problem was quickly resolved and since then ketchup has been flowing again for everyone. McDonalds did not have to or want to resort to the Argentine alternative to ketchup, the chimichurri, a mix of olive oil, vinegar, garlic and fresh herbs.

5. Buenos Aires is the stronghold of psychotherapists

There are no exact statistical surveys worldwide. Nevertheless, Argentina probably has the highest density of psychiatrists and psychologists in the world. According to statistics from the University of Buenos Aires, around 79,000 therapists work in the Argentine capital, which has a population of around 40 million. There are 197 psychiatrists for every 100,000. That is seven times as much as in Germany or the USA, for example, where there are around 27 psychotherapists for every 100,000 inhabitants. In the urban area of ​​Buenos Aires. practice around 37,000 psychologists and psychiatrists - one for every 79 inhabitants.

6. The farmers store grain

Argentina has a very flourishing agriculture, the farmers turn over billions annually. Argentina is the world's largest exporter of lemons, mate, soybean oil and soy flour. Recently, however, many farmers have preferred to store their soy and corn crops around their homesteads. The harvest comes in so-called silobolsas, meter-long plastic bags weighing up to twelve tons. This is done out of fear of inflation and further devaluation of the peso.

7. Rich like an Argentine

"Rich as an Argentine" - it's hard to believe - this phrase once existed in Europe. However, that was a hundred years ago. At the time, the South American country was one of the ten most prosperous countries in the world. Even after the Second World War, tens of thousands of refugees came to Argentina with the hope of a better future.

Today the economic situation of the Argentines has changed fundamentally. In Argentina there is inflation, economic crises and national bankruptcy. The currency has collapsed several times and the government is still grappling with the aftermath of the 2002 economic crisis. A few months ago, a US court ruled Argentine creditors, the hedge funds, right. These do not recognize the debt relief for the government bonds. If this verdict remains, the next state bankruptcy is just around the corner

8. No country has any more paid public holidays

In Argentina, workers can enjoy 19 paid public holidays. This is a world record. In Germany there are between 9 and 14 paid public holidays, depending on the federal state.

This is offset by a short vacation. Young workers in Argentina are only entitled to 14 days a year. By comparison, in Germany there are at least four working weeks, i.e. usually 20 days of vacation.

9. Argentina are record world champions

The Argentine national team is record world champion, but not in football, but in polo. She has won the title four times at nine world championships. She came in second once and third twice. At the last World Cup in 2011, the "gauchos" beat Brazil by twelve to eleven in a heartbeat final. At the next World Cup in Chile in March 2015, they are also considered to be the most promising contenders for the World Cup title.

10. Everything will be different soon

In 2015, after two terms in office, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner had to leave the Casa Rosada, the government palace in Buenos Aires. Then Argentina's second most famous political dynasty comes to an end. In any case for the time being.

Christina and her husband Nestor Kirchner, who died in 2010, have ruled the country since 2003. But there is an heir: the son of the Kirchner Máximo has already put himself in the right, or rather left, light as chairman of the influential Peronist youth organization "La Cámpora".

The next 10 crazy facts about Argentina

That was not all. Here we have 10 more curious things to say about Argentina.

Five presidents in two months

From December 2001 to January 2002 Argentina had five presidents. It was the time when Argentina's economy collapsed after the state failed to repay € 9.7 billion in debt. The President Fernando de la Rua resigned in December 2001. Eduardo Duhalde was promoted to office in January 2002 after three other presidents had previously been in office for a few days.

Christina Fernández de Kirchner

Everyone has, it is said, a vice. The current president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (CFK), it is the shopping addiction and numerous cosmetic surgeries. After meeting the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy, she bought 20 pairs of Louboutin shoes and a few designer bags in Paris.

inflation

The population does not have the greatest confidence in their government, in any case they do not believe that the inflation rate it has published is correct. It should be 10 percent. The figures for independent economists, on the other hand, are 25-30 percent. IMF President Christine Lagarde urged Argentina's politicians not to make false statements.

Own brewery

Some political parties in Argentina do not brew, but have their very own beer. The "Peronists" (going back to Juan and Evita Peron) were the first to name a beer after the former first lady. The current head of state Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her husband Nestor Kirchner are also honored with a beer, the "Double K".

iPhone, iPad and Co

Apple products are rarely available in Argentina, and when, only three times the US price. The Argentine government has been blocking imports for several years in order to boost its own electronics production. Now it is not surprising that there are many iPhone copies on the market.

Dollars

To leave Argentina, Argentines need dollars. However, getting them is not easy. You have to declare precisely where, when and why you want to leave. Even after hours of waiting and many completed documents, the bank may not hand over the dollar bills. Argentina wants to prevent foreign exchange losses.

Lively barter trade

The Argentines have no confidence in their own currency, the peso. They fear that their economy could collapse again. So they stock up on a dollar supply. But since the strict restrictions that apply to exchanges, many have gone underground. A virtual currency, bitcoins, is also becoming increasingly popular with Argentines.

Legal in Uruguay

One can legally exchange dollars during a short trip to Uruguay. Many Argentines come back with a backpack full of dollars. Colonia de Sacramento is just an hour's ferry ride from Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires.

Garnishment

An Argentine frigate was detained in Ghana for two weeks after a hedge fund manager applied to a court for the "Libertad" to be confiscated. The reason: Argentina had refused to repay the 1.03 billion euros loaned to the hedge funds. The warship was supposed to serve as a pledge.

Charter flights

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner no longer uses her private jet when traveling but only uses charter flights. In this way, she avoids the risk of her aircraft being seized. In 2013 she booked a flight to Indonesia for almost 600,000 euros.