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Argentina: Javier Milei announces deregulation of economy

December 21, 2023

Javier Milei has ordered an overhaul of the economy by eliminating or changing more than 300 rules. The deregulation measures are still subject to approval from the legislature.

Argentina's President Javier Milei
Javier Milei has announced massive overhauling of Argentina's economyImage: Evan Vucci/AP Photo/picture alliance

Argentina's newly-elected president Javier Milei has announced that he plans to change the country's economic system by deregulating it using his presidential powers.

He said he aims to change more than 300 regulations to lay "the foundations for the reconstruction of the Argentine economy and restore freedom and autonomy to individuals, removing the State from their shoulders."

"The goal is to start along the path to rebuilding the country," Milei said in a speech broadcast on television and radio.

Milei has vowed to pull Argentina out of economic distress but has warned that economic "shock" treatment is the only solution.

He has also warned the public that the economic situation will get worse before it will get better.

What will change after Milei's plan is implemented?

One of the most crucial aspects of Milei's plans would be the elimination of laws that regulate rent and the ones that prevent the privatization of state enterprises.

Milei also announced a "modernization of labor law to facilitate the process of creating real jobs." 

The approximately 300 deregulatory measures that Milei has announced will also affect tourism, satellite internet services, pharmaceuticals, wine production and foreign trade.

Argentina announces sharp devaluation of peso


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For the measures to be implemented they are required to be published in the government gazette and then assessed by a joint committee of lawmakers from both chambers of the legislature. 

Argentines protest austerity and deregulation measures

Before announcing deregulatory measures, Milei's government had already devalued Argentina's peso by more than 50 percent.

He had also announced huge cuts in state subsidies for fuel and transport that will be implemented from January. These subsidy cuts will have a direct impact on the daily lives of Argentines, who are used to hefty assistance from the state.

The austerity and deregulation measures were not well-received in the country. Thousands of people gathered in the country's capital and protested against austerity and the deregulation measures.

The organizers also called on the country's trade unions to declare a general strike.

Javier Milei sworn in as new Argentine president


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mfi/rc (AFP, EFE)