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Argentine Economy Out of Control, as Milei Plans To Repress Social Protest

Argentine friends report to EIR that in the week since President Javier Milei has taken office, basic economic markers have gone off the charts. What the government refers to as “repressed inflation” is hyperinflation revealed in the 3,500% annual inflation rate, which in its view, justifies the imposition of the savage austerity package announced three days ago.

Two days after Milei’s Dec. 10 inauguration, the price of meat had risen by 30%, and the total price hike for the week is approaching 100%. This has caused huge panic and shortages, as beef is one of the most important items in the Argentine diet. The price of fuel has increased between 35 and 65%. By Dec. 18 or 19, Milei will present another major package of austerity measures to Congress including higher taxes and a decree on the deregulation of the state. One Buenos Aires-based economist reported that there are no plans to adjust wages to address the higher inflation. Over January and February, subsidies for utilities and transportation will gradually be eliminated.

Anticipating that these austerity measures will provoke social protest, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich announced Dec. 14 a draconian law enforcement protocol to repress any public dissent and “maintain order.” Human rights advocates are charging that the new law violates the constitutional right of free expression and to protest. Since protests in Argentina often take the form of picketing public buildings or blocking streets and highways, Bullrich’s protocol prohibits any such activity and warns that “authors, accomplices or instigators” of such actions will be identified and imprisoned if necessary. “We will ensure the law is enforced,” she vowed.

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