Monday, July 15, 2024

ARGENTINA | 06-07-2024 05:38

Milei lines up midnight ‘Pacto de Mayo’ signing

Javier Milei’s next key moment, the signing of his ‘Pacto de 25 de Mayo,’ will take place in Tucumán at the strike of midnight on Independence Day. Guest list still up in the air, with Mauricio Macri expected to be the only former president in attendance.

President Javier Milei will finally seal his ‘Pacto de 25 de Mayo’ at midnight Tuesday on Independence Day at the Casa Histórica de la Independencia in San Miguel de Tucumán, more than six weeks after he originally intended.

Milei, 53, will ink the accord outlining political and economic ground-rules for provincial governors during a vigil in the historic house of Tucumán which will be attended by the head of state’s entire Cabinet. 

The President confirmed himself that the accord will be signed in Tucumán together with the governors and political leaders who decide to participate, following approval of the ‘Ley de Bases’ omnibus.

The government is anticipating invitations to governors, trade unionists and ex-presidents, with even Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on the list of potential attendees.

However, it is likely that Mauricio Macri will be the only ex-head of state to attend, with most of Milei’s critics set to rebuff the invitation. Of the remaining living ex-presidents Alberto Fernández and Eduardo Duhalde have declined, while the elderly María Estela Martínez de Perón has refused to travel from Madrid.

"In the vigil between the eighth and ninth of July we will sign the Pact of May. I heartily thank all those accompanying us at this time," pointed out Milei in statements to TN television news channel.

According to Milei, his government has launched a broad "appeal" to attend the Tucumán event, saying: "Those who want to come will come and those who don’t won’t. I’m not obliging anybody, the whole political spectrum is invited."

While all provincial governors and the mayor of Buenos Aires City are invited, the government is expecting a no-show from some with the list of possible gubernatorial absentees including Axel Kicillof (Buenos Aires Province), Sergio Ziliotto (La Pampa), Ricardo Quintela (La Rioja), Gildo Insfrán (Formosa) and Gustavo Melella (Tierra del Fuego).

According to local reporting on Thursday, around 19 governors are expected to attend.

Invitations to attend the ceremony have also been sent to lawmakers, trade union representatives, business leaders and members of the Supreme Court. However, the CGT umbrella union grouping said Thursday it had not received any invite.


Pact and council

While opening the 2024 parliamentary sessions, Milei called upon governors, ex-presidents and leaders of the main political parties to set aside their personal interests and meet up on May 25 in the province of Córdoba “to sign a new social contract called ‘Pacto de 25 de Mayo’ establishing the 10 principles of the new Argentine economic order.”

Milei pitched the agreement as cross-party, but from the start the government had conditioned the signature of the pact on approval of its ‘Ley de Bases’ bill by Congress. 

Despite the government’s attempts, the initiative had only cleared the Chamber of Deputies by May 25 so that the agreement could not be signed on its original date.

At a Flag Day ceremony in Rosario last June 20, Milei again convoked “all the political authorities, the governors of the Argentine provinces, the leaders of the main political parties, the ex-presidents of the Nation, the members of the honourable Supreme Court of Justice, businessmen, workers and, of course, every Argentine citizen" to meet on July 9 in Tucumán with the objective of signing the pact and thus "finally start to turn a new leaf of our history together.”

Milei’s agreement with the governors will also include the formation of the Council of May, announced and decreed by the President.

This council will be formed by representatives of the government, the provinces, the chambers of Congress, trade union organisations and business, working on drafts to materialise the 10 points in the signed agreement.

After signing the May agreement, the presence of Milei is scheduled to return to Buenos Aires for the traditional Te Deum ceremony on July 9 and afterwards lead the military parade on Avenida Libertador.

The next day he will be marking the 170th anniversary of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange (Bolsa).


10 points from the ‘Pacto de Mayo’

Milei’s accord consists of the following 10 points, with the educational item a recent incorporation:

– The inviolability of private property.
– Fiscal balance is non-negotiable.
– Reduction of public spending to its historic levels of around 25 percent of Gross Domestic Product.
– A useful and modern primary and secondary education with full literacy and without school dropouts.
– A tax reform which reduces the tax burden, simplifies the life of Argentines and promotes commerce.
– A renewed discussion of federal revenue-sharing to end for good the current extortionate model which the provinces suffer.
– The commitment of the Argentine provinces to advance in the exploitation of the country’s natural resources.
– A modern labour reform which promotes formal employment.
– A pension reform which makes the system sustainable and respects those who have contributed.
– Opening up to international trade so that Argentina can again be a protagonist of the global market.

“These 10 ideas, which are the bases for the progress of any nation, could set the conditions for Argentine growth for the next 100 years so that Argentina is a lighthouse for the West once more,” said President Milei.

“Every politician is convoked to accompany us, no matter who they are, from whence they came nor what ideas they have defended.”



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