Argentina has faced economic challenges for an extended period. Despite being the second-largest economy in South America, its citizens frequently grapple with severe inflation, significantly impacting their quality of life. The annual inflation rate surpasses 140%, and projections indicate it could escalate to 200% in the coming year. Disturbingly, 40% of the population is currently living in poverty.
Amidst economic turmoil, the nation went to the polls on November 19 for the second round of elections. During this crucial vote, citizens elected the inaugural Libertarian president of the country.
Javier Milei emerged victorious in the election and is set to be sworn in on December 10. The far-right leader, frequently referred to as “the wig” or “the madman” due to his untamed hair, is a former television political commentator with ambitious and unconventional proposals for the nation’s future.
In the course of the campaign, Milei pledged to address the nation’s hyperinflation by shuttering Argentina’s Central Bank and transitioning to the US dollar, abandoning the use of the Argentine peso. He likened the state of the country’s currency to blocks of ice melting in the Sahara desert.
This move would entrust Argentina’s interest rate policy to the jurisdiction of the US Federal Reserve. However, securing approval from Congress is a necessary step, and Milei’s political party, Libertad Avanza, holds minimal influence in this regard.
Upon the announcement of Milei’s victory, his supporters rejoiced. Some waved the Gadsden flag, also recognized as the Don’t Tread on Me flag. Originating from the Revolutionary War in the US, this flag symbolizes notions of freedom and unity.
As he congratulated Milei on his victory, former US President Donald Trump promised to restore Argentina’s greatness. Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro declared that he thought Milei’s election was a success for liberty, advancement, and integrity.
Milei visited Washington, DC, and New York City for meetings a week after winning the election. He had meetings with Treasury Department representatives and members of international lending.
At present, Argentina has a $44 billion debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He will require sufficient funds to cover the pesos in his nation in order to convert to US currency.
That will cost billions of dollars, and with his enormous debt, it’s not clear how he will be able to pay for it. However, it seems that Milei is committed to achieving this goal and controlling inflation.