Government candidate Sergio Massa (51) accepted his defeat. “Javier Miley is the president. I congratulated him because the majority of Argentines voted for him,” he said. “It is the responsibility of the president-elect to provide security and guarantees from tomorrow and we hope he will do so.”
In the midst of a severe economic crisis, self-proclaimed “anarcho-capitalist” Xavier Miley (53) promises a radical change: he wants to introduce the US dollar as legal tender, abolish the central bank and several ministries. And want to cut social spending. , On the other hand, government candidates stood for the previous policy of mass state intervention in the economy and extensive social programs.
“No one with such extreme views on economic issues has ever been elected president of a South American country,” said Mark Weisbrot, an economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a US research institute. “It barely recognizes the legitimate role of government in some of the most important policy areas that most people consider essential to a democratic, humane, and stable society.”
Miley benefited most from the ongoing crisis and the anger of many Argentines against the political establishment. With disheveled hair and a wielding chainsaw, he spoke out at election campaign events against the political “caste” he hated. The eccentric lives with five cloned giant mastiffs, whom he named after liberal economists such as Milton Friedman and Robert Lucas.
The terrifying face of Argentine politics also wants to liberalize gun ownership, is against abortion rights, doesn’t believe in man-made climate change and calls Argentina’s Pope Francis a communist. Like former US President Donald Trump and former Brazilian head of state Jair Bolsonaro, he uses anti-establishment rhetoric, but unlike his role models, he avoids right-wing extremism and, for example, supports gay marriage.
On the other hand, his future vice president Victoria Villarruel serves conservative clients, maintaining contacts with right-wing groups around the world and repeatedly provoking the public with statements about the military junta (1976 to 1983). The daughter of an officer questions the 30,000 deaths estimated by human rights organizations among government opponents, leftist activists, trade unionists and students during the dictatorship and, for her part, pushes for greater recognition for the victims of leftist guerrillas. Group.
South America’s second largest economy is in deep economic crisis. The inflation rate is more than 140 percent, and nearly 40 percent of people in the once wealthy country live below the poverty line. Argentina suffers from a bloated state apparatus, low industrial productivity, and a large shadow economy that deprives the state of much tax revenue. The value of the national currency, the peso, is falling against the US dollar and the mountain of debt continues to grow.
Market-liberal Miley’s victory represents a real change for Argentina, where leftist Peronists have created an environment for more than 20 years in which the state intervenes extensively in the economy, public services are heavily subsidized. And in many provinces there are even more public sector workers than private sector workers.
Now, however, Miley’s ability to compromise will be tested because, despite her radical rhetoric, she won’t get very far alone. They do not have a majority in Parliament, do not have a single provincial governor in their ranks and they lack qualified personnel to fill important key positions. On the other hand, political rivals can make life difficult for them as head of state: leftist Peronists are well organized through trade unions, social movements and party structures down to the smallest communities and are able to paralyze public life. . Protests against the new government continue all the time in Argentina.