Javier Milei is a libertarian economist who has been sworn in to be the president of Argentina. He promised to make deep cuts in expenditures after he was sworn in, saying only radical changes could pull South America out of its worst crisis for decades.
After being sworn in as president, 53-year-old Milei addressed the enthusiastic crowd in front of congress, declaring that “today we put an end to a long and depressing period of decline, and start the path to rebuilding our country.”
Milei, who was watched by foreign dignitaries such as Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Spain’s King Felipe VI, and right-wing politicians like Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, and Brazil’s ex-president Jair Bolsonaro ended his 35-minute speech by repeating “Long Live Freedom, Dammit!” The crowd roared in approval.
Milei stated, “The challenge that we face is enormous, but the strength of a nation can be judged by how it faces the challenges as they arise.”
Liliana, a pensioner of 67 years old said: “The speech was what Milei always said. It’s the Milei that we voted for.” “He gives me hope that our youth won’t be forced to leave the country because so many of them have already left,” said Liliana Danesi, 67.
Milei entered politics only in 2019, and won his first elected office in the year 2021. Insurgent Milei’s campaign, which played on his flamboyant personality to defeat long-established politicians, vowed to “chainsaw” the Argentine State. He has now taken on the most difficult economic challenge of the outgoing Peronist left wing government.
Inflation is expected to exceed 200 percent this year, more than 40 percent of the population is living in poverty, a recession is looming and the peso’s value has collapsed. NThe country has negative net international reserves and needs to make payments of over $4 billion by the end of January, to the IMF and private-sector creditors.o mark his departure from Argentina’s political elite, whom he had denounced in the campaign as “corrupt”, and to emphasize his status as an outcast, Milei arrived to congress in a dark-blue Volkswagen.
He walked down the steps after taking the oath in the chamber to give his inaugural address outside, in the sunshine of early summer, instead of inside, to the legislators. This has been customary since 1983, when Argentina returned to democracy following military rule.
He focused on the dire situation of the country, but did not give details about the measures he intended to take. His only plan was to cut public spending by five percentage points. This would be the responsibility of the government and not of the private sector.
Milei is expected to submit a draft law outlining his economic emergency measures to the congress in the next few days. It will be met with a tough reception. Milei’s La Libertad Avanza has a very small number of congress seats and a recent coalition with the centre-right block of former President Mauricio macri leaves him far short of a majority.
Milei signed an emergency presidential decree on Sunday afternoon, mandating the restructuring of Argentina’s Government into only 9 Ministries. There were 18 ministries before. The decree will go into effect once it is published officially on Monday morning.
Milei has said that he will not pursue vendettas, but welcomes “with open arms”, anyone who shares his vision of rebuilding a country under a social contract in which “the state doesn’t direct our lives; it protects our rights”.
Milei took his presidential oath in the legislative chamber to yells of “freedom”. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner attended the ceremony as the president of the Senate, one of Milei’s fiercest enemies.
As Fernandez de Kirchner entered into the Congress building, she raised her finger to some Milei supporters who were gathered outside.
Milei decorated his presidential staff with pictures of five of his dogs. The dogs are named after Milton Friedman, a free-market economist.
On the night before Milei’s inauguration, supporters of Milei gathered in front of the Argentina central bank to hold a symbolic candlelight wake. Milei promised to shut down the central bank and use the US Dollar as the country’s currency.However, has since won the election and backtracked on both promises .
The business community in Argentina has welcomed Milei’s victory, putting aside any concerns over his lack of experience as a politician and his extreme views. They are hopeful that he will be able to implement serious economic reforms.
Guido Moscoso is the manager of public opinion at Opinaia. He said, “In the past 50 years, Argentina has only experienced two successful liberal, pro-market reforms.” Milei’s greatest challenge is to maintain his popularity while implementing a reform agenda. The challenge Milei faces is made more difficult by his weakness in congress. . . He will have to be both clever and pragmatic.”