Friday, July 19, 2024

ARGENTINA | 15-12-2023 18:32

Milei says ‘ending inflation’ is ‘top priority’ in social media post

Argentina's president makes first comments since inaugural speech in Instagram video; Presidential spokesperson says libertarian leader has ordered the sale of two YPF planes, an Embraer Praetor licence LV-KGJ and a LearJet, in bid to cut costs.

Javier Milei spoke on Friday for the first time about the initial measures of his government's “super orthodox” austerity plan presented this week, declaring that his “top priority” is to “end inflation."

Argentina's president, a 53-year-old ultra-liberal who took office last Sunday, delivered a live broadcast on social networks to present the last monthly raffle of his salary as a lawmaker, as he has been doing for the two years since he took office.

“We’re totally dedicated to ending inflation, hyperinflation. That’s why we came up with a super orthodox programme to end the fiscal deficit and bring the financial deficit to zero,” said Milei in a video that showed behind-the-scenes footage from inside the Casa Rosada.

The new president's austerity plan, announced by Economy Minister Luis Caputo, includes a 54-percent devaluation of the peso. The government is also intending to slash spending, eliminate transport and energy subsidies and downsize the government in order to drag Argentina out of its fiscal deficit.

“My maximum priority is to end hyperinflation; today inflation in Argentina is one percent every day, which means that inflation is 3,678 year-to-year,” claimed Milei in relation to his own annual inflationary projection.

Prices in Argentina have risen by 160.9 percent over the last 12 months, according to official data.

“We’re making a huge effort," the president highlighted, making sure that tax measures on the private sector are “temporary."

“Once we improve the economy we will start to end all those things we libertarians dislike,” he said in reference to the rise of export duties, for instance, or the rumoured proposal to reintroduce income tax for many of those currently exempt.

Milei, who during his campaign wielded a chainsaw to symbolise his idea of cutbacks, is reducing the size of the State and has halted nearly all public works projects.

The president's live Instagram broadcast was watched by over 100,000 users. Among those present at his Casa Rosada office were his sister and secretary general to the Presidency, Karina Milei, together with other members of his team and a public notary to supervise the raffle.

“Because we want to end inflation, we came up with a hyper orthodox programme with a strong fiscal adjustment to bring the financial deficit to zero. It all has to do with the transparency of the foreign exchange market and the entire restructuring of the Central Bank to end liabilities by remunerating,” he said, showing off Rivadavia’s chair and his presidential sash and baton.

After raffling his 2,119,432-peso salary to one of the two million who entered a competition to win it, he said: “The truth is we’ve managed to bridge the gap with the import exchange rate, besides the PAIS Tax, in a context in which we’ve managed to lower the interest rate, the country risk is going down, and the Central Bank is also buying dollars."

Milei underlined that his government is making “a huge effort” and described that the fiscal adjustment applies 60 percent to politics and 40 percent to the private sector, although he promised that the tightening in the private sector will be temporary.


YPF planes for the chop

Presidential Spokesperson Manuel Adorni, informed earlier in the day that President Milei had ordered the sale of the two planes which are among the assets of state-run oil company YPF.

One of the planes, an Embraer Praetor licence LV-KGJ, was used habitually by Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for her journeys from Buenos Aires to El Calafate during her term as vice-president.

"We’ve made the decision to finalise the sale of two planes from the company YPF exercising our position in the board, two planes which were almost exclusively used by politicians, privileged people we don’t want around anymore, of course," Adorni explained in a press conference.





In this news


More in (in spanish)