From ditching the struggling peso to eventually eliminating Argentina’s central bank, outsider presidential candidate Javier Milei has vowed to implement a series of bold — and perhaps unfeasible — measures to pull South America’s second-largest economy from the brink of a meltdown.
(Bloomberg) — From ditching the struggling peso to eventually eliminating Argentina’s central bank, outsider presidential candidate Javier Milei has vowed to implement a series of bold — and perhaps unfeasible — measures to pull South America’s second-largest economy from the brink of a meltdown.
While some of his proposals have scared off investors, forcing the government to devalue the currency by 18%, his fiery rhetoric has resonated with many Argentines who gave him an unexpected win in Sunday’s primary vote. They say Argentina’s situation is so messy that it will take a leader as energetic as Milei to change it.
Read More: Outsider Milei Upends Argentina’s Election With Primary Win
Below are Milei’s main proposals, according to a document his party submitted to electoral authorities in May.
The economist-turned-politician has a radical recipe for putting a lid on inflation that’s running at more than 115% a year: replace the national currency with the dollar. Eventually, he would even get rid of the central bank that has been printing pesos to finance government spending.
While dollarization has been successfully implemented in a few Latin American countries including Ecuador and El Salvador, economists warn that Argentina lacks enough foreign currency to follow that path.
Other key economic proposals by Milei include:
- Government spending cuts so large that austerity measures demanded by the International Monetary Fund would look “tiny” in comparison
- Privatizing deficit-making public companies
- Fomenting private investment
- Eliminating and cutting taxes
- Exploration of natural resources through a system of royalties and concessions
National Security Reform
Milei’s tough stance on crime has helped him win over voters who are increasingly worried about a recent spike in violence and robberies across the country. He proposes deregulating the firearms market to allow for the “legitimate and responsible” use of guns by Argentines.
Other proposals include:
- Building prisons through a system of public-private partnerships
- Consider reducing the minimum age for incarceration of minors
- Zero tolerance to crime
Milei has put forward a mixed bag of proposals under the banner of health reform — from expressing support for the sale of human organs to the condemnation of abortions and euthanasia.
He would also replace Argentina’s public health care with a private system whose costs would be covered by universal health insurance.
The right-wing congressman would eliminate fines imposed on companies that dismiss workers without just cause, replacing them with a system of unemployment insurance. He would also:
- Cut labor taxes
- Reduce the number of public workers by offering early retirements and revising contracts for hiring workers and services
Agriculture, Livestock and Fishing
His proposals for Argentina’s crucial agricultural sector, which accounts for most the country’s exports, include the elimination of export taxes that cause economic distortions. He also promises to:
- Build infrastructure to support the sector, with private capital
- Eliminate tariffs on imports of strategic inputs and capital goods, including fertilizers, industrial inputs and machinery
Read More: Milei Has the Votes — Does He Have a Plan?
–With assistance from Scott Squires.
(Updates with details throughout.)
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