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ARGENTINA | 09-02-2024 16:45

Milei’s frantic activity on social networks fuels political tension in Argentina

“Traitors” and “criminals” are just some of the words Javier Milei used to refer his critics and members of the opposition on social media this week.

Argentine President Javier Milei, a heavy user of the X and Instagram social networks, has retweeted angry messages and posted a long list of grievances online since lawmakers and provincial governors since Congress stopped his 'omnibus bill.'

The victims of his fury have accused the president of “incitement to violence" in response.

After the failure of his sweeping reform package last Tuesday, the head of state, currently on a tour of Israel and Italy, as replied to over 200 posts on X in the last few hours and “liked” quite a fair few others.

On Instagram, he published a caricature where he is The Terminator and says “Casta la vista, baby!” – a reference to Argentina's traditional political caste, the focus of his ire. He also posted a fragment of the biblical tale of the golden calf written in Hebrew.

“When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain (...)”, reads the passage of the book of Exodus shared by Milei on Wednesday.

Hours before publishing that text, Milei had said in an interview to the Israeli Fuente Latina media outlet that he had made the decision to return the law to commission after the deputies rejected much of its “delegated powers,” which would have given him the possibility to rule by decree.

“The caste is against the change we Argentines voted for in the polls,” the La Libertad Avanza leader charged on X minutes later and amid an avalanche of “retweets,” which included phrases such as “the enemies of freedom don’t even deserve justice."

Members of the opposition condemned the president’s activity on social networks.

The Unión Cívica Radical (UCR), which accompanied the law in general but voted against a few articles, accused Milei of conducting “an operation loaded with discredits and insults."

“There’s widespread incitement to violence against anyone who thinks differently which has to stop,” it added.

In the meantime, the Peronist Governor of La Pampa Province, Sergio Ziliotto, stated on the radio that this situation shows the President’s “mistreatment” of the province, whereas opposition deputy Paula Oliveto also said to the press that “the country can’t go on like this, with this level of violence and aggression."

Milei’s 'omnibus bill' proposed changes in the political, social, economic and labour system, among others, but after being approved in general by deputies last week, foundered when alliances with the opposition fell apart.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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