October 21, 2001

Argentine minister quits over program funding

                 BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) -- Argentina's social development
                 minister said he formally offered his resignation to President Fernando de la
                 Rua on Sunday because social programs were not receiving enough funding.

                 "I presented my resignation. First I spoke with the president Friday night, and today
                 I did it formally because of the lack of funds for social programs," Juan Pablo
                 Cafiero said in a television interview.

                 Cafiero was the last member of the left-leaning Frepaso movement in the Cabinet of
                 De la Rua's embattled center-left Alliance coalition, which has been fractured by
                 dissent on austerity measures and spending cuts.

                 Cafiero's departure from the Cabinet had been widely anticipated before and after
                 the October 14 midterm legislative elections in which voters punished the ruling
                 Alliance amid an economic slump entering its fourth year.

                 Officials in the president's office or the Cabinet chief's office were not immediately
                 available for comment.

                    Copyright 2001 Reuters.