Latin America

Argentine President Wants Provincial Governors to Support His Economic Reforms

Argentina’s President Javier Milei gestures while delivering his first policy speech to parliament during the inauguration of the 142nd ordinary session of Congress in Buenos Aires on March 1, 2024.

Oleg BurunovAfter taking office in December 2023, Javier Milei issued a decree for more than 300 reforms to liberalize the country’s economy, which he said should be debated in the Argentine parliament. Argentina’s President Javier Milei has urged the country’s provincial governors and other top political leaders to sign a 10-point “social pact” by May 25 to support his agenda of radical economic liberalization.In his first State of the Union-style address to lawmakers on Friday, Milei said that the agreement includes a “non-negotiable fiscal balance” and public spending cuts, as well as labor reform and free trade.AmericasArgentina’s Provinces Threaten Milei With Rebellion Amid Neoliberal Austerity Drive24 February, 15:53 GMTThe Argentine president also pledged to continue the implementation of his sweeping economic reforms with or without the approval of parliament.

"We are going to change the country for good. We won't back down, we're going to keep pushing forward, whether that's by law, presidential decree or by modifying regulations," he pointed out.

Milei added that he was asking for “patience and trust,” and that “it will be some time before we can perceive the fruit of the economic reorganization and the reforms we are implementing.” He warned that “If we don’t change the economic model from the very roots, then Argentina has no future.”

The Argentine leader also argued that the country currently "finds itself before an inflection point," vowing that the government is "not going to turn back" and will "keep accelerating."

AnalysisArgentina’s Milei Needs to Muster Legislative Support, May Still Fail to Enact Reforms22 November 2023, 23:59 GMTAfter Milei took office in late December, he presented a package of sweeping reforms dubbed the omnibus bill that seeks to liberalize the Argentine economy and was rejected by lawmakers in February after a vote. Speaking to The Financial Times, Milei made it clear that he won’t resubmit the omnibus bill until December 2025 and that he plans to rely on decrees to implement enough of his economic agenda until the midterm elections.The unveiling of the omnibus bill was followed by tens of thousands of people taking to the streets in protest, which saw police clashing with activists outside the parliament building in the capital Buenos Aires. Many also participated in a general strike organized by the General Confederation of Labour in late January.

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