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Argentina: President Milei tells Parliament that he is ready “for conflict” to carry out his reforms

The Argentine president, Javier Milei, assured Parliament on Friday that “he will change the country” and “with or without the support of political leaders, with all the legal resources of the executive.”

The ultra-liberal Argentine President Javier Milei declared on Friday, March 1, in his first State of the Nation address, determined to further push his reforms “with or without political support,” warning the hitherto reluctant Parliament that he is prepared “to the conflict”. .

At the same time, he called on Argentines to show “patience and confidence” in the face of his deregulation and budget austerity measures. “It still takes time before we can reap the fruits of economic consolidation and reforms (…) but, for the first time in history, we are attacking the problem for its cause. To do so, I ask for your patience and trust,” he said. he. saying.

“The effort will be worth it,” said Javier Milei, whose government carried out in less than three months a devaluation of more than 50%, price liberalization, extensive deregulation and drastic budget cuts.

An offensive speech

Offensive, he warned parliamentarians that, in February, they inflicted his first setback by revoking his ambitious set of deregulatory reforms (660 provisions). “We are going to change the country forever (…) with or without the support of political leaders, with all the legal resources of the executive.”

He reminded the deputies that in recent weeks he has called them “rats’ nests”, “corrupt”, “symbols of the political caste”, that through decrees, regulatory changes or bills, he has tools to “fight against the budget deficit “. , which is the mother of battles for us.

“If you seek conflict, you will have conflict,” he threatened.

A “new social contract”

However, the Head of State extended a hand to the political class, influential provincial governors, party leaders and former presidents, to forge a “new social contract”, based on ten eminently liberal principles: the “non-negotiable” balanced budget, “inviolable” private property, public spending reduced to the “historical” level of 25% of GDP, in particular.

A “May Pact”, as he called it, that would be signed in Córdoba (north) symbolically on May 25, the anniversary of the revolution (1810) that led to independence (1816).

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Javier Milei, transgressive as he likes to present himself, had scheduled his speech during prime time, 9 p.m., so that “the greatest possible number of Argentines can listen to the president after work,” according to the presidency.

Closure of a press agency

He took a long inventory of 20 years of “impoverishing” government policy, calling it “morally bankrupt and inherently unjust,” which only benefited a “political caste.”

He also announced a draft “ancastas law”, with several proposals, including a limitation on the terms of union leaders, a reduction in the number of parliamentary assistants and an end to benefits for former presidents.

He also announced the closure of the public press agency Telam (about 700 employees), one of the media targeted by the new government, which according to him had become a “propaganda agency” for the Peronist governments. An offensive speech “that put all the meat on the grill,” pro-Milei deputy José Luis Espert greeted AFP.

On the contrary, left-wing deputy Myriam Bregman denounced “a smokescreen to avoid talking about what we are experiencing: crazy prices, lack of food in soup kitchens, increase in rents.”

Author: SC with AFP
Source: BFM TV

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