Javier Milei finally pushes key reforms through Argentina’s Senate

Ohoutside Argentina On June 12, riot police set up barricades as protesters poured in. Some shouted at the police to take off their helmets and join them. A deputy walked away after being pepper sprayed in the face. Soon, protesters were throwing Molotov cocktails. A journalist’s car was set on fire. The government, prone to hyperbole, called the protests an attempted “coup.” In the Senate, the situation was almost as tense. Some senators called for the session to be stopped due to external violence, but were repressed. The insults flew. “Mental ill” was the term used by Cristina López, an opposition senator, to describe President Javier Milei; the combative libertarian economist, who recently belted out a series of rock songs in front of a packed stadium, considers himself “one of the two most important leaders in the world.” He did not name the other.

The chaos was caused by the vote on two reform bills with which Mr Milei hopes to turn around Argentina’s ailing economy. One delegates emergency powers to the president, privatizes several state-owned enterprises, and creates strong incentives for potential foreign investors (among other things). The other aims to raise desperately needed tax revenue. After more than 20 hours of all-night deliberations, the Senate passed them both. The vote on the former was so close that the vice president had to break the tie. In the second, the reinstatement of income tax, abolished last year by the previous government in an attempt to stay in power, was canceled. The government nevertheless celebrated extravagantly. Mr. Milei tweeted his slogan, “VIVA LA LIBERTAD CARAJO,” roughly “LONG LIVE FUCKING FREEDOM.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *