Monday, July 15, 2024

ARGENTINA | 13-06-2024 17:02

Milei government still intends to privatise Aerolíneas Argentinas, other state firms

Following the approval of the 'Ley de Bases' bill in Senate and concessions on selling off of state firms, Presidential Spokesman Manuel Adorni insists that President Milei still intends to sell off flagship carrier and other public firms.

President Javier Milei still intends to privatise Argentina’s flagship carrier Aerolíneas Argentinas and a host of other state-run firms, despite the government giving ground during talks to pass its sweeping ‘Ley de Bases’ reform bill.

Speaking after the so-called ‘omnibus’ bill and its accompanying fiscal package were approved by the Senate, Presidential Spokesperson Manuel Adorni said Thursday that Milei still intends to push ahead with privatisation of a dozen state firms. 

He will do so, Adorni said, beyond the framework of Congress.

“All state-run companies may be privatised. Whether it will be at this legislative juncture or further on will be up to the Chamber of Deputies,” said Milei’s top spokesman at his daily press conference.

During negotiations to pass its 200-plus-article ‘Ley de Bases’ bill, ruling party lawmakers were forced to accept amendments from senators. These included the removal of Aerolíneas Argentinas from the list of state-run companies to be privatised. 

The Correo Argentino post office and the state media outlets of Radio y Televisión Argentina (RTA) were also taken off the table.

Adorni, who was highly critical of state firms, argued Thursday that the companies “cannot continue running as they are” – a reference to debts held by many public firms.

The spokesperson, who is on the same ideological page as President Milei, then defended the idea of privatising them by claiming that the goal of the libertarian administration is “not to close” the firms but to “save them.”

“The entry of private capital into state-run companies is a way of saving them,” he insisted.

In another section of the press conference, the spokesman held “the left and Kirchnerism” responsible for the damage to the area around Congress that came in the wake of demonstrations against the bill.

He described the violent incidents as a “21st-century coup.” 

“There were terrorists outside Congress who wanted to trample over democracy, who claimed the people’s representation, but who were never voted by anyone,” he specified.

He stressed that Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, “managed to forcefully and decisively contain what was happening in the street”, and he said that the City Police was working on identifying the demonstrators who burned cars and caused damage. 

Lastly, he promised that the Government “would pursue this to the very end,” and even though he specified that “the charges are being assessed”, he underlined that the decision is that “the maximum penalty should be imposed on everyone.” 


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