9 Nov 2008

House backs takeover of Argentine pensions

10:37 am on 9 November 2008

Argentina's lower house of parliament has approved a government plan to nationalise private pension schemes worth $US30 billion.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said the move would protect the funds in the face of the global economic crisis.

But the BBC reports it faces tough opposition from those who call it a cynical ploy to loot pensioners' money.

It passed the lower house 160-75 after 14 hours of intense debate.

Earlier in the day there were large protests outside the congress building, both for and against the plan.

Later this month it goes before the upper house, the Senate, where the government has a majority.