The ultraliberal Javier Milei established himself as president of Argentina by defeating the ruling party Sergio Massa yesterday in the runoff, who acknowledged defeat before the official count data was known.
In the context of a serious financial crisis, the dispute between the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, a moderate defender of the welfare state, and the economist Milei, who proposes eliminating the central bank, currency competition that could culminate in dollarization, the unification of the exchange rate, the reduction of state expenses and the privatization of public companies, had generated a strong debate among Argentines.
Milei achieved 55.95% of the votes compared to Massa’s 44.04%, according to data from an advanced count of 86.6% of the votes.
“I have contacted Javier Milei to congratulate him and wish him luck, because he is the president that the majority of Argentines elected for the next four years,” said Massa, current Minister of Economy, to his followers.
Despite the apathy of the population, the contrast between the two proposals led many to vote for what some analysts have called “the lesser evil,” which implies more a fervent rejection of the candidate they do not want than an open support for the one they choose. .
After years of difficulties, the disenchantment of many Argentines with the traditional parties elevated the economist recently arrived in politics, who in the papal parties had as many chances as Massa – a 51-year-old lawyer – of winning the presidency.
“We have made every effort that could be made. Now let the polls speak. (…) Let’s hope that tomorrow there will be more hope and not so much continuity of decline,” said Milei after voting in the city of Buenos Aires.
Milei, who used to carry a chainsaw in his hands at his events to represent the cut in public spending that he proposes, said that he would generalize the collection of health benefits that the population currently receives free or subsidized. And in education, she would apply the voucher system to distribute funds to parents so that demand is financed rather than supply.
The 53-year-old right-wing candidate doubted the causes of climate change, criticized legal abortion and attacked Pope Francis, who is Argentine.
However, his followers considered that he was the only one capable of dethroning the “caste”, as Milei – founder of the La Libertad Avanza party – calls classical politicians, and ending a desperate annual inflation of 143% and poverty of 40%. %.
“I have heard a lot about politics at home because of everything that has happened in these 40 years of democracy and that is why I believe that we deserve real change. (…) Our generation promotes the presidency of (Javier) Milei to remove the country from ostracism,” said Agustina Lista, a 22-year-old student.
The future president will also have to deal with the empty coffers of the central bank and a debt contracted in 2018 with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a program of 44 billion dollars.
The disruption Milei caused had led the center-left presidents of Brazil, Mexico and Spain to publicly endorse Massa, while Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa and former right-wing leaders of Chile and Colombia supported the libertarian.
What do Milei analysts say?
Analysts give their opinion on the resounding victory of the ultra-liberal Javier Milei in the presidential runoff that took place yesterday in Argentina, defeating the current Peronist Economy Minister, Sergio Massa, in the race.
The third largest economy in Latin America coexists with inflation projected at 180% by 2023, strong devaluation pressure, high fiscal deficit, fall in the net reserves of the central bank (BCRA) and a growing poverty rate.
“The president-elect must dissipate the different sources of uncertainty that affect Argentines. He must put on the leader’s uniform from moment zero,” said Pablo Besmedrisnik, director and economist of Invenómica.
“Today’s instability and the sudden changes that are coming in the different macro variables are a fact. That is why it is important to crudely describe the situation, but at the same time indicate the first signs of an action plan that will end up forming the necessary stabilization plan,” he stated.
“It seems to me that there is going to be some correction, but we have to wait for Milei to say (as president, since) many segments of the market were accommodating themselves to a victorious Massa,” said analyst Salvador Vitelli.
It is to be expected “a dollar that is a little more launched and futures that are a little hotter,” he stated.
“Milei’s speech and the signals he gives will be important, whether it is an ‘incendiary’ Milei like the PASO (August primaries) or the ‘tame’ one of the general elections (in October). The latter could be well interpreted by the market,” said Roberto Geretto of Fundcorp.
Source: EFE and AFP
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