Following his election victory in Argentina yesterday, which was a rout for his opponent Sergio Massa, a manic President-elect Javier Milei began announcing his drastic plans to “reform” the country, do away with the “omnipresent state,” and turn the country into a free-market paradise. A tough “fiscal adjustment”—austerity—will be the order of the day. “This is no time for gradualism … no time for weakness,” he said in his victory speech last night. “The Argentine situation is critical, changes will be drastic,” and there will be “no half-way measures.”
Today, he boasted, “the end of Argentina’s decadence begins.” There will be mass privatizations. “Anything that can be in the hands of the private sector will be,” he warned. All large, publicly owned media, such as the state-owned Telam news agency, public TV and Radio Nacional will be privatized, as Milei considers them just “propaganda mechanisms.” Milei also wants to privatize the state-owned oil company, YPF, among other public sector companies. As for the Central Bank, “shutting it down is a moral obligation,” he insists, so that the plan for dollarization can proceed. He plans to reduce the number of ministries down to 8 from the current 19.