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ARGENTINA | 28-11-2023 15:56

Milei to appoint ex-Menem-era advisor as Argentina’s energy secretary

Eduardo Rodríguez Chirillo set to be appointed energy secretary and given responsibility for unravelling and restructuring subsidies on public utilities.

President-elect Javier Milei has confirmed that Eduardo Rodríguez Chirillo will be Argentina’s new energy secretary.

The news was confirmed in the now regular daily statement from Milei’s ‘Office of the President-elect’ account on social media.

"The Office of the President Elect of the Argentine Republic informs that Eduardo Rodríguez Chirillo will be in charge of the Energy portfolio in the incoming government," read the statement.

In Milei’s sweeping restructuring of the Cabinet, the Energy Secretariat will now form part of the Infrastructure Ministry as from December 10. The portfolio will be headed by Guillermo Ferraro.

Chirillo is the third confirmed appointment to date by Milei, following Osvalo Giordano and Horacio Marín, who will head the ANSES social security agency and YPF state energy firm respectively.

The newly appointed official faces the unenviable task of restructuring Argentina’s complicated web of subsidies and tariffs for public utilities, such as electricity, water and gas.

Yet Chirillo is not without previous experience of government. In 1995, during former president Carlos Menem’s administration, he was named a consultant to the Energy Secretariat, then led by Domingo Cavallo, serving two years.

In 2001, he served as an advisor to the Infrastructure & Housing Ministry, then headed by Carlos Bastos, in former president Fernando de la Rúa’s government.

Currently employed by the ERC & Asociados law firm, of which he is a founding partner, Chirillo previously worked for Spanish energy company Iberdrola and advised the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Swift research by local journalists uncovered his postgraduate thesis published from the University of Navarra in Spain, which was entitled “Privatización de la empresa pública y post privatización: análisis jurídico” ("Privatisation of the public company and post-privatisation: a legal analysis").

Last June, when rumours of his potential appointment first began circulating, Chirillo delivered a speech at the Argentine Council for International Relations (CARI). During his address, he argued that subsidies should be eliminated as they “go against the responsible use and saving of energy.”

According to the Noticias Argentinas news agency, Chirillo has been working for months in the shadows and has vast experience in the local and international energy sector. 

The agency said he currently leads a team of eight to ten professionals specifically dedicated to working on the comprehensive reform of the sector.

Among other measures, the incoming official plans to merge the ENRE and ENARGAS regulators to save costs and establish "a more comprehensive regulation."



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