A price freeze on consumer goods and a currency devalued 11.4 percent against the dollar went into effect Thursday as Argentina tries to curb its triple-digit inflation and massive debt.

The moves were part of a sweeping austerity program unveiled late Wednesday by President Raul Alfonsin and the ministers of economy, commerce and the interior.One dollar will now fetch 12 australs on the commercial, official side of Argentina's two-tiered foreign exchange system. It will equal 14.4 australs on the financial side, which is closer to the free-market rate.