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ARGENTINA | 28-04-2024 09:25

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner accuses Milei of subjecting Argentines to ‘pointless sacrifice’

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner returns to political scene, slamming the "anarcho-colonialism" of Javier Milei's political project and accusing the President of submitting Argentines to a "pointless sacrifice."

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner returned to the political scene on Saturday, delivering a speech at an event in Quilmes that slammed President Javier Milei’s austerity measures.

Fernández de Kirchner, 71, criticised Milei’s ‘chainsaw’ approach that has slashed public spending and accused the libertarian leader of subjecting the Argentine people to a "pointless sacrifice" in pursuit of an economic target. 

Milei, for his part, responded quickly via social media, accusing the former president and her political movement of having left “a destroyed country" behind when they departed office.

Reappearing at a crowded rally of devoted followers, Fernández de Kirchner – who governed Argentina between 2007 and 2015 and was Alberto Fernández's vice-president from 2019 to 2023 – delivered a speech laced with harsh criticism of Milei’s government.

She did so while speaking at the inauguration of a micro-stadium in Quilmes, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, that is named after her late husband, former president Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007).

"I heard the president [Milei] on national television and I decided to come here to reflect on this particular moment that Argentina is going through, on the ‘anarcho-capitalist’ project and the pointless sacrifice to which our people are being subjected," declared Fernández de Kichner.

Milei took office with a vow to slash public spending and cut Argentina’s fiscal deficit. In a speech last Monday, he celebrated the “historic” achievement of ending the first quarter with a budget surplus – the first Argentina has recorded since 2008, Fernández de Kirchner’s first year in office.

The target was reached thanks to a devastating round of strict spending cuts. Milei's economic measures include the paralysis of all public works projects, massive state lay-offs, the removal of large government subsidies for utilities, public transport price hikes and the freezing of budgets. 

Offering her analysis of the current economic situation on Saturday, Fernández de Kircnner accused Milei of having “no stabilisation plan.” There is “no support” for the zero deficit target, she argued.

"Sixty per cent may have voted for you [in last year’s presidential run-off], but if when you are in government, people go hungry, lose their jobs and can't make ends meet, what's the point?" she asked.

"This government has no stabilisation plan ... It is only an adjustment plan," Fernández de Kirchner warned, stating that Milei had to “change direction.”

In an hour-long address, Fernández de Kirchner also criticised the new government for its cuts in education and denied claims that during her administration there was "indoctrination" in schools.

"If we had indoctrinated in schools, he wouldn't be president, what is this man talking about?” she said.

"It's just an adjustment plan," repeated Fernández de Kirchner, who described the president as "not neoliberal" or "anarcho-capitalist," but "anarcho-colonialist.”

"He foreshadows an extractivist economy. Taking away all the natural resources, in other words, pre-capitalism – it reminds me of the Argentina of the Viceroyalty, more than anarcho-capitalism, it sounds like anarcho-colonialism and we don't agree with that,” she stressed.

Milei, who has predicted two years of sacrifice for the nation before the economy bounces back to life, was quick to respond to the criticism.

"People are starving because for decades you defended a model that was based on spending without limits and counterfeiting money to plug the hole," he wrote on his X social media account. 

"The result is a destroyed country with 60 percent of poor people. What good is what we are doing? It serves to rebuild the country you destroyed? VLLC...!!!!," he wrote, initialising his famed slogan: "Viva La Libertad Carajo.”


– TIMES/AFP/NA

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