BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Those inaugural speeches weren’t the most glamorous. Rather, the newly appointed President of Argentina Javier Miley He presented figures to expose the scope of the country’s economic “emergency” and sought to prepare the public to adjust for the shock through radical cuts in public spending.
“We have no alternatives and we do not have time. We have no margin for fruitless discussions. Our country requires action, and immediate action. The political class has left the country on the brink of the greatest crisis in history,” he said in his inauguration speech to thousands of supporters in the capital, Buenos Aires. He added: “We do not want to make the difficult decisions that will have to be made in the coming weeks, but unfortunately they have left us no choice.”
The second largest economy in South America suffers from annual inflation of up to 143%, the currency has fallen, and four out of every 10 Argentines suffer from poverty. The country suffers from a large fiscal deficit, a trade deficit of $43 billion, in addition to a massive debt of $45 billion to the International Monetary Fund, including $10.6 billion owed to multilateral creditors and the private sector by April. “There’s no money,” is Miley’s common refrain. He reiterated this on Sunday to explain why a gradual approach to the situation, which requires funding, is not an option.
But he promised that the amendment would affect almost entirely the state and not the private sector, and that it represented the first step towards restoring prosperity.
He said: “We know that the situation will get worse in the short term, but we will soon see the fruits of our efforts, having created the foundation for strong and sustainable growth.”
Miley, 53, rose to fame on television with his profanity-filled sermons against what he described as the political class. He parlayed his popularity into a seat in Congress and then, just as quickly, to run for president. The overwhelming victory achieved by the self-proclaimed “anarcho-capitalist” in The primaries are in August It sent shock waves through the political landscape and turned the race on its head.
Argentines are frustrated With the current economic situation, they have proven receptive to outsiders’ strange ideas to address their problems and transform the nation. He won the November 19 elections The second round is decisive – It dispatched the Peronist political power that had dominated Argentina for decades. However, he is likely to face fierce opposition from Peronist movement lawmakers and the unions it controls, whose members have said they reject the loss of wages.
Earlier on Sunday, Miley was sworn in inside the National Convention building, and outgoing President Alberto Fernandez placed the presidential sash on him. Some of the assembled lawmakers chanted “Freedom!”
Then, he broke with tradition by delivering his inaugural address, not to the assembled lawmakers, but to his supporters gathered outside, turning his back on the legislature. He blamed the outgoing government for setting Argentina on a path toward hyperinflation while the economy stagnated, saying the political class had “ruined our lives.”
“In the past 12 years, GDP per capita has fallen by 15% in a context in which inflation has accumulated by 5,000%. As such, we have lived for more than a decade in a state of stagflation. This is the last difficult stage before the start “In the reconstruction of Argentina.” It will not be easy; 100 years of failure cannot be undone in one day. But it begins in a day, and today is that day.
Given the general somberness of Miley’s message, the audience listened intently and only occasionally cheered. Many waved Argentine flags and, to a lesser extent, the yellow Gadsden flag often associated with the American libertarian right and which Miley and his supporters embraced.
“Economically, we are like every Argentine, trying to hold on until the end of the month,” said Wenceslao Aguirre, one of Miley’s supporters. “The situation has been very complicated. We hope that this will change once and for all.”
As Miley takes office, the nation wonders which version of him will rule: the anti-establishment crusader saws from Campaign pathOr the more moderate president-elect who has emerged in recent weeks.
As a candidate, Miley pledged to cleanse the political establishment of corruption, remove the central bank he accused of printing money and stoking inflation, and replace the rapidly depreciating peso with the US dollar.
But after his victory, he chose Luis Caputo, the former head of the central bank, to be head of the central bank Minister of Economy An ally of Caputo who heads the bank appears to have halted his much-touted dollarization plans.
Miley has portrayed himself as a willing warrior to confront the encroachment of global socialism, in the mold of former US President Donald Trump Openly admire. But when Miley traveled to the United States last week, he did not visit Mar-a-Lago; Instead, he had lunch with another former American leader, Bill Clinton.
He also sent a diplomat with a long history of working in ongoing climate negotiations COP 28 conference In Dubai, the Argentine newspaper La Nacion reported, despite its insistence on rejecting humanity’s involvement in global warming. He backed away from his plans to abolish the country’s Ministry of Health.
During his inauguration speech, he made some comments to the political class, saying that he did not intend to “persecute anyone or settle old vendettas,” and that any politician or union leader who wanted to support his project “will be received with an open welcome.” arms.”
His moderation may stem from pragmatism, given the enormous scale of the challenge he faces, his lack of political experience, and his need to forge alliances with other parties to implement his agenda in Congress, where his party occupies third place by a large margin in the number of seats.
He chose Patricia Bullrich, a long-time politician and opponent in the first round of the coalition with the second-highest number of seats, to be security minister, and also picked her colleague Louis Petrie as defense minister.
However, there are signs that Miley has not abandoned his radical plans to dismantle the state. He has already said he will abolish multiple ministries, including the ministries of Culture, Environment, Women, Science and Technology. He wants to merge the ministries of social development, labor and education together under one ministry of human capital.
After his inauguration speech, Miley traveled in a convertible to the presidential palace. Later on Sunday, he is scheduled to swear in his ministers and meet foreign dignitaries.
Among them will be prominent far-right figures: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban; head of the Spanish Vox party, Santiago Abascal; Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and lawmakers allied with Bolsonaro, including his son.
Miley reportedly sent a message inviting Brazil’s current president, Luiz Inacio Lula da SilvaAfter he described the leftist as clearly corrupt last month during a televised interview and confirmed that if he became president, they would not meet.
Lula sent his Foreign Minister to attend Miley’s inauguration.
Also joining was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is making his first visit to Latin America while Kiev continues to do so. Supporting courts among developing countries For its 21-month-long battle against Russian invading forces. Zelensky and Milley had a close exchange just before the inauguration speech.
Beller reported from Rio de Janeiro. AP Writer Almudena Calatrava contributed from Buenos Aires.
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