Javier Milei sworn in as president of Argentina

MIAMI.- The Economist Javier Milei was sworn in this Sunday as president of Argentinaa position he assumes determined to apply a shock treatment to get the country out of an agonizing economic crisis.

Milei, 53 years old, followed the protocol and swore “by God and by the Country, on these holy Gospels, to carry out with loyalty and patriotism the position of President of the Argentine Nation” and received from the outgoing president, Alberto Fernández, the sash and the presidential baton.

Oblivious to traditional politics, which he refers to as “the caste,” Milei was sworn in before Parliament, amidst applause and shouts of “freedom, freedom!”

At his side, the vice president, Victoria Villarruel, took the same oath.

Outside Congress, thousands of people gathered to celebrate his inauguration. Dressed in soccer team shirts and carrying Argentine flags, they waited for his speech in the square.

Several Latin American leaders attend Javier Milei’s investiturelike the Chilean Gabriel Boric and the paraguayan Santiago Pena; and Europeans, among them the Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky and the hungarian Viktor Orbanin addition to the king of Spain, Philip VI.

“Today is a party that we all deserve, we have to leave corruption behind, this is over. I think that from now on we are going to evolve. I don’t think there will be a worse government than there was, if this works 50% is “I will give it as much time as necessary,” Fabián Armilla, a 60-year-old judicial employee, told AFP.

A new stage in Argentina

Third economy in Latin America, Argentina registers an annualized inflation of more than 140% and a poverty rate of more than 40%. To face this crisis, Milei offered drastic measures to cut public spending, reduce the State and liberalize in a country accustomed for years to subsidies and fiscal deficits.

“I think it will be difficult the first few years, he already anticipated it and because of the situation in the country, but I have a lot of faith in him,” said Federica Diggiano, a 20-year-old student who waited outside Parliament.

Freedom AdvancesMilei’s party, is the third minority in Congress, which forces it to reconcile many of its reforms with the other political forces.

“There is an attempt to expand the coalition and expand the government’s legislative support a little more. But all this has a price. If it negotiates, then it will not be so anti-caste,” political scientist Diego Reynoso told AFP.

“Fire test” for Javier Milei

The president will, however, have the freedom to decide on a devaluation of the peso and some spending reduction measures. Dollarization, a central theme of his campaign, was put on hold pending the first results of his economic plan.

“The first litmus test for the president will be to decide if he is actually going to stop the issuance (of money) or if he adopts a more pragmatic stance and leaves the goal of non-issuance for later,” economist Víctor Beker told AFP. , from the University of Belgrano.

“We would find ourselves in a situation of rising prices, without money in people’s pockets. There will be a clash between promises and reality. We will see what the result is,” he added.

Of a total of 18 ministries of the outgoing government of Alberto Fernández, Milei’s will only leave half.

After warning that there will likely be stagflation during the early days of his government, Milei assured that he will maintain social assistance for the most needy.

But just as there is enthusiasm among his followers, others are worried about what is to come. “I think inflation will continue, perhaps worse than before. I see nothing good in the future,” Martina Soto, a 66-year-old woman, said near Congress.