Argentina Products that are hidden and prices released: Argentina lives in the economic "no man's land"

Lucas moves towards an empty hallway, lowers his voice and asks: "How many do you want?"</p>You are not offering any illegal products, it is just cans of tuna

Argentina Products that are hidden and prices released: Argentina lives in the economic "no man's land"

Lucas moves towards an empty hallway, lowers his voice and asks: "How many do you want?"

You are not offering any illegal products, it is just cans of tuna. But the tuna vanished in that warehouse, one of the hundreds of Chinese ones spread throughout Buenos Aires. Lucas, who is Chinese and is not called Lucas but uses that name, returns from the warehouse with two cans of quality tuna that drain into the buyer's bag. On the store shelves, a handful of cans of sad shredded tuna, the kind that no one wants to buy.

It happens in the Chinese with tuna, canned corn and other products, but also in a paint store where the customer comes to the conclusion that the clerk is doing everything possible to prevent him from buying anything.

Thus, in the middle of an economic no man's land between the end of Kirchnerism and the arrival of Javier Milei to the Casa Rosada, and with the prospect of the announcement of the total liberalization of prices and a (new) strong devaluation of the peso, many businesses prefer not to sell, especially those that offer durable goods. If it is sold today, that money will not be enough to cover the replacement cost. Among other reasons, because nobody knows what the replacement cost is. Argentina today is a country without prices.

In a butcher shop near Lucas' Chinese, Mauricio says that sales fell 15% in the last month and that every week, when buying products from the wholesaler, he pays between 15 and 20% more. At gas stations, the lines of cars are enormous. Even the banks entered into anarchy: when charging for consumer goods in foreign currency with credit cards, in recent days they have applied their own, arbitrary exchange rate, much higher than the official one.

Consumers, defenseless. Also in one of the Zara stores, which yesterday refused to accept cards and only charged in cash.

Milagros, a Bolivian who has lived in Argentina for many years, sold her products on Saturday night at absurdly low prices. She had to hand over the premises at midnight on Sunday because the owner, who charged her 300,000 pesos a month, about 300 dollars, started demanding 1,000 dollars from her. And Milagros can't pay them.

The climate of uncertainty is not foreign to Milei, who at Sunday's inauguration ceremony assured that the Government of Peronist Alberto Fernández left him "planned" to have inflation of 52% monthly for this summer, which is equivalent to "15,000%." annual," he said, under his armor as an economist, the first in Argentine history to reach the Presidency. Milei is a machine throwing out figures and statements that require a double check.

But the strategy is clear: make Argentines see a current panorama and a future that is as dark as possible, so that when bad news abounds in the coming months, no one can say they are surprised. "In a week in December, Argentina's inflation is higher than the combined annual inflation of Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia," they say on LN, a news channel very close to the Milei Government.

In this context of growing unrest, the entire country was eagerly awaiting the announcement of the new economic plan by Minister Luis Caputo, which was to occur late yesterday afternoon (midnight in Spain).

The first 48 hours of the Milei Government have been lavish in effective announcements, such as that 100% presence will be required for public Administration employees.

Another announcement, which connects very well with Milei's hardest base of voters, was to cancel institutional advertising in the media for one year, which in Argentina is known as "pauta." Milei and his people have come to speak in the campaign of "enveloped journalists", for supposed envelopes with money to informants, and of "children of the great agenda."

But none of this will help, even remotely, to reduce the deficit by five percent of GDP and reach fiscal balance, as the president proposes. Argentina is facing an economic surgery of proportions, and only asks to know, once and for all, how strong and tough it will be.