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ARGENTINA | 06-02-2024 14:17

Argentina’s Javier Milei says dollarisation isn’t a ‘short-term’ goal

After making it the centrepiece of his presidential campaign, the now President Javier Milei began pushing dollarisation down his list of priorities.

President Javier Milei said dollarization of Argentina’s economy is the final step in a long process that is unlikely to be completed this year, the latest indication that his most ambitious campaign proposal has taken a back seat to other major reform efforts.

“It is not an issue of short-term stabilisation,” Milei said in an interview published on Cenital, an Argentine website, Tuesday morning.

He added that “the free competition of currency” in Argentina was always meant to follow the cleaning up of the Central Bank’s balance sheet and an overhaul of the country’s financial system.

After making it the centrepiece of his presidential campaign, Milei began pushing dollarisation down the list of priorities almost immediately after his victory. He has spent recent weeks focused on steering a massive reform package through congress. 

Dollarisation was not on the agenda in the latest round of discussions with the International Monetary Fund over Argentina’s US$44-billion programme, Milei said in the interview. The Washington-based lender’s executive board approved a US$4.7-billion disbursement to Argentina last week.

The libertarian leader, however, also said that he intends to meet with officials who dollarised Ecuador’s economy once he returns from his ongoing trip to Israel and Italy.

At its current rate, the Central Bank’s balance sheet could be cleaned up by the end of June, and reform of the financial system could be completed in as little as one year, he said.

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by Manuela Tobias, Bloomberg

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