The legislative year in Argentina begins this Friday (1), with a series of protests in front of the country’s National Congress, where a speech by President Javier Milei is scheduled at 9 pm.

Popular organizations, neighborhood assemblies and opposition parties called for demonstrations against the government’s ultraliberal measures. Protests were also called during the day against the increase in public transport fares by more than 500% in value.

The protest called molinetazo calls on subway and train users to skip the windlass, Spanish term for transport access turnstiles. There will also be demonstrations by the president’s supporters in front of Congress.

Argentines were surprised on Monday (26) with the announcement that the opening speech of the legislative year will be given at night and not at noon, as traditionally happens. Many understood it as another show of Milei’s devotion to the culture of the United States, in a clear emulation of the Sate of the Union (State of the Union), an annual speech also given at night, in which the American president anticipates his legislative proposals to Congress.

Last Saturday (24), Milei posed for a photo with former president Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a congress of the American extreme right in Washington.

Photo released by the Presidency of Argentina shows Milei’s meeting with Donald Trump on Saturday, February 24 / Press Office of the Presidency of Argentina AFP/

In addition to the time change, Milei’s speech should bring “good surprises” as announced by congressman Oscar Zago, leader of the ruling party Freedom Advances in Congress. More than surprises, the announcement provokes apprehension due to the conflicting relationship he established with parliamentarians after the defeat of his package of ultra-liberal measures, known as the “Bus Law”, following strong popular mobilization with a series of protests in front of Congress National.

The Argentine president has made a series of public criticisms of the deputies, who he called “useful idiots and thieves”. In a statement to the foreign press this Thursday (29), when commenting on his first legislative defeat, Milei indicated that he intends to govern by decree. “As long as Congress has its current composition, we believe it will be difficult to approve reforms and there are reforms that we can do by decree,” he told the British newspaper Financial Times.

This Friday morning, the Argentine president made a post in Hebrew accompanied by the phrase “LONG LIVE FREEDOM, B*****”. The Hebrew text is a message from God to Moses present in the Old Testament, after breaking the tables with the commandments.

“And God said to Moses: flatten two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets that you broke”, says the message posted on the president’s official account on X (formerly Twitter). The enigmatic message can be interpreted as if Milei had not given up on approving in Congress the package of liberal measures that had already been rejected by legislators.

On Friday morning, the government leader in Congress, Jorge Macri, opened the session with a speech focusing on security and fiscal austerity. Macri defended the new administration’s measures that prevented major protests in Buenos Aires.

“It is the Government who decides what can and cannot be done in public space, which is to enjoy it and not inhabit it and vandalize it”, he stated.

*With page 12

Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho


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