Argentine president calls for extraordinary sessions of Congress to speed up reforms

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentine President Javier Milei has issued a decree calling for extraordinary sessions to speed up reforms, reinstate the tax on salaries abolished by the previous government, and modernize the electoral process.

Milei, who took office in early December, sent the decree to the legislative body late on Friday for bills to be discussed from Dec. 26 to Jan. 31. Congress is in recess, with sessions next scheduled for March.

Earlier this week, Milei proposed more than 300 measures to deregulate the South American country’s economy, including eliminating price controls and bureaucracy to help promote industrial activity.

Milei, a libertarian economist who entered politics about four years ago, has said he wants to drastically reduce the size of the government, eliminate the fiscal deficit and devaluate the battered local currency.

Argentina is mired in a prolonged economic crisis with triple-digit inflation, negative reserves, a rapidly depreciating peso currency, and over 40% of the population living in poverty.

(Reporting by Jorge Otaola; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Richard Chang)