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Argentine Presidential Adviser Warns of More Economic Shock Reforms

In an interview with Bloomberg News published Dec. 29, Federico Sturzenegger, Argentine President Javier Milei’s chief economic adviser, announced that sweeping deregulation reforms of the country’s economy have only just begun. In addition to the draconian Urgency and Necessity Decree (DNU) announced Dec. 20, which overturned 30 laws and reformed another 300, followed by the Dec. 27 Omnibus bill with 660 articles further deregulating the economy and erasing the social safety net and fundamental rights, Sturzenegger announced that a new piece of legislation will be submitted to Congress next week to eliminate 160 “absurd” regulations he says hinder economic activity.

“The reforms have a dimension that goes deeper than the reforms themselves,” Sturzenegger boasted to Bloomberg. “It’s like an overhaul of the economic power structure in Argentina.” It’s worse than that. The DNU declares every sector of the Argentine economy and institutional structure to be in a “state of emergency,” allowing Milei to usurp Congressional powers and rule by decree for the entirety of his four-year term. That makes him a dictator. Dozens of injunctions have been filed against the DNU at different court venues, including a filing last week at the Supreme Court by the Governor of Entre Rios province on grounds that the DNU is unconstitutional. The court has agreed to hear that case, but didn’t consider it urgent enough to interrupt the judiciary’s traditional one-month recess in January. An Argentine economist reported to this news service that 99% of the constitutional lawyers he’s consulted, who have analyzed the DNU, agree it is unconstitutional.

Sturzenegger, meanwhile, chortles that measures announced thus far represent only 40% of the changes President Milei hopes to achieve. “I don’t remember anyone with so much forcefulness.” Don’t worry about social unrest and worker protest, he added. They won’t interfere with Milei’s determination to revolutionize the country based on radical free market principles. Before March, he predicted, the Omnibus bill will be passed and the DNU approved by Congress.

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