Barely inaugurated president, Javier Milei promises “a shock, an adjustment”

Three weeks after his resounding outsider electoral victory, Javier Milei became, at the age of 53, on Sunday December 10, the twelfth president of Argentina since the return of democracy forty years ago

Barely inaugurated president, Javier Milei promises “a shock, an adjustment”

Three weeks after his resounding outsider electoral victory, Javier Milei became, at the age of 53, on Sunday December 10, the twelfth president of Argentina since the return of democracy forty years ago. He took the oath in Parliament “in the name of God, of the country and on the holy Gospels,” swearing to honor with “loyalty and patriotism” the office of president. Then he put on the sky and white presidential sash.

Following the brief ceremony, at midday, Mr. Milei delivered his first speech as president, not in front of parliamentarians as is traditional, but from the steps of Parliament, in front of thousands of people gathered in a vast square, carrying a sea of ​​Argentinian flags and jerseys of the Argentinian selection.

Barely invested, he announced that a “new era” was opening for Argentina: “There is no alternative to an adjustment, there is no alternative to a shock” in terms of budgetary, because “there is no money!” “, Mr. Milei told a crowd of supporters, adding that for the economy “in the short term things will get worse.”

After this speech, he will go to Casa Rosada, the presidency, where he will receive foreign dignitaries, then the swearing-in of his government, at this stage restricted to nine ministers, in accordance with his promise of austerity State. The president announced that he would convene an extraordinary session of Parliament in the coming days to present a first block of laws.

Inflation, debt, poverty

Javier Milei, an economist best known for years as a popular polemical panelist on TV, has turned Argentine politics on its head. Elected deputy in 2021, he swept away the Peronist bloc and the right, which had alternated in power for twenty years, with a clear message. On November 19, he scored a victory that surprised by its scale, winning in the second round of the presidential election against the outgoing centrist economy minister, Sergio Massa, with 55.6% of the vote.

Third largest economy in Latin America but faced with chronic inflation – at 143% over one year –, structural debt and 40% poverty, Argentina is preparing for painful adjustments in the coming days or weeks, the president having promised shock therapy to reduce public spending.