In a confrontational tone, the president of Argentina, Javier Milei, launched an “anti-caste” package against his country’s political class, during the opening session of the Argentine parliament, on Friday night (1st). In his speech, he called Argentina’s Congress a “rat’s nest.”

The statements were made amid demonstrations against the president inside and outside Congress. In Praça 25 de Maio, the student movement expressed discontent with Javier Milei’s educational policy. In other parts of Buenos Aires, there were calls for pots against the president.

Protesters protest in front of Congress during the Argentine president’s speech / Luis ROBAYO / AFP

In Congress, Milei stated that he will continue with economic reforms, which have displeased a large part of the population, with or without the support of politicians. “Our convictions are unshakable. We will put public accounts in order with or without the help of the rest of the political leadership,” said the president, who assured that he will use “all legal resources of the national Executive Branch” to implement the reforms.

The “anti-caste” program includes the end of retirement privileges for politicians and the ban on candidacies of people convicted of corruption in the second instance. In the same vein, former public servants convicted under the same conditions will also lose their retirement benefits.

The number of advisors for deputies and senators will also be reduced. Public financing of political parties, in turn, will be eliminated. “If they are looking for conflict, they will have conflict,” said Milei when announcing the measures. “When we encounter an obstacle, we will not back down, we will continue to accelerate.”

Milei also spoke about the economic measures adopted in the first months of government, which include fiscal adjustment and deregulation of several sectors. Addressing the Argentines, Milei asked for “patience and trust”. “There is still some time before we can see the results of the economic sanitation and reforms we are implementing,” said Milei.

On the same day, Milei also announced the closure of the public news agency Telam, which, in his words, was being used “as a Kirchnerist propaganda agency”. The company was founded in April 1945.

The National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism (INADI) was also closed, as reiterated in the president’s announcement. Milei called the organization a “thought police” that “spent 2.8 billion pesos to keep paid activists.”

Editing: Thalita Pires


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