Monday, July 15, 2024

ARGENTINA | 02-11-2023 18:29

Javier Milei confirms dollarisation is a non-negotiable 'state policy'

Presidential candidate for La Libertad Avanza says he won’t back down on two key policies – dollarisation and the elimination of the Central Bank – despite electoral pact with PRO leaders Mauricio Macri and Patricia Bullrich.

La Libertad Avanza presidential candidate Javier Milei says he won’t back down from two of his key policy proposals if elected president – no matter what Mauricio Macri and Patricia Bullrich think.

Milei, 53, said Thursday that his plans to dollarise the economy and shutter the Central Bank would both be introduced should he win the November 19 run-off against rival Sergio Massa. He declared he would not negotiate with his new Juntos por el Cambio allies on the keynote proposals. 

“It’s a state policy,” Milei said on television as he was rushed by supporters on his way to Congress to formalise his candidacy.

Responding to questions, the libertarian dismissed rumours that Bullrich and Macri had conditioned him by providing public support and backing his candidacy in the election’s second round.

Quizzed about the PRO leaders’ take on the issues, Milei responded: “We have our differences, that’s why our paths had different structures, it’s only natural.”

He continued: “They provided me with unconditional support, obviously we don’t agree on everything, we coincide by 90 percent, in some other points we don't. For instance, the elimination of the Central Bank.”

Earlier this week, experts expressed warnings about Milei’s plans.

Economist Aldo Abram, the executive director of Libertad y Progreso think-tank, noted in an interview that “there’s a discussion in Javier Milei’s team about how dollarisation is to be carried out because nobody knows how it will reach the Central Bank.” 

He underlined that “currently, the Central Bank is absolutely broke and they don’t have their own foreign currency – which is what you need to dollarise overnight.”

The explicit support of the ‘hawk’ faction of the PRO has sparked unrest in libertarian ranks. On Thursday afternoon, outspoken economist Alberto Benegas Lynch warned: “I’m not saying it will happen, I’m just warning the usual suspects not to have the absurd intention to ‘tame’ Javier Milei into going back on his extraordinary proposals which are precisely what catapulted him and will put our country back on its feet.”

Ever since the electoral results of October 22, Milei has attempted to trend to the centre, in order to win over voters who are unsure of his candidacy.

On Wednesday, Guillermo Francos, Milei’s likely interior minister should the candidate win election, acknowledged that there is unrest in La Libertad Avanza over the deal with Macri and Bullrich.

He said some were fearful that the move is a stitch-up and “an operation” designed to damage Milei’s candidacy.

TikTok appeal

Responding to what Milei describes as rival Massa’s “campaign of fear,” the libertarian launched a new TikTok video this week outlining his policies. Notably, despite his promises to privatise the education and healthcare systems, the word “voucher” was nowhere to be found. 

On education, Milei assured that, in his government, “public education will continue, but not with [union leader Roberto] Baradel in the middle getting your children out of class for days.” 

On healthcare, Milei promised that “public healthcare will continue but without [Covid-19] VIP vaccination and waiting for hours” – a commitment towards a more efficient and equitable management of healthcare services.

As for the economy, he proposed a reduction in the tax burden: “No more high taxes to put money in your pocket and not [Lomas de Zamora on-leave mayor Martín] Insaurralde’s.”

On inflation, Milei stated that in his government “inflation will be over and you’ll be able to afford the train and bus without anyone helping you.”

“Decadence is over with me and we’ll be a power once again. Long live liberty, damn it!,” was how Javier Milei closed his renewed TikTok “manifesto.”



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