“Today begins the end of Argentine decadence. Let’s begin reconstruction and turn the page of our history. Let’s resume the path we should never have lost. The model of the state that impoverishes and blesses only some while the majority suffers ends. It’s a historic night, let’s go back to embracing the idea of freedom.” With these words the right-wing ultraliberal Javier Miley he presented himself to the nation and the world in his new capacity as president-elect of Argentina. With 86% of the votes counted, the anarcho-capitalist won the run-off with 56% against the progressive Peronist candidate Sergio Massa (44.04%), in a historic and crucial election for the country.
Milei will assume his mandate on December 10, precisely on the fortieth anniversary of democracy since the last military dictatorship. “The situation is dramatic, there is no room for gradualism, for half measures”, indicated the winner, listing inflation (now at 140%), poverty, misery and insecurity as the most urgent. “Argentina has a future and it is liberal,” he then observed, promising that, in 35 years, the country will be “a world power”.
Long live freedom
In his presentation, Milei avoided talking about his flagships such asdollarization or the closure of the Central Bank. But she couldn’t help but vibrate her motto: “Long live freedom, damn it.”
But where does Milei come from? In a recent interview he said that, intrigued by collapse of the exchange rate and hyperinflation, he decided to study economics at age 11. Graduated in Economics from the University of Belgrano, he obtained two master’s degrees from the Institute for Economic and Social Development (Ides) and the Torcuato di Tella University.
After having been chief economist at various national and international public government bodies as well as for the HSBC banking group, he became a member of the B20, the Economic Policy Group of the International Chamber of Commerce, and of the World Economic Forum.
From academia to YouTube
A specialist in economic growth, Milei was a professor of various economic subjects in Argentine universities and abroad for more than 21 years, including macroeconomics, growth economics, microeconomics and mathematics for economists, publishing nine books. In his official CV he is also presented as a radio host and a very successful personality in the communication and media sector, in which he is very influential.
He has become known in Argentina, particularly among young people, for the effective way of communicating his analytical contents, his economic theory and his ideological thought on radio, on TV and on various YouTube channels, once again encouraging the diffusion of liberal ideas . For this reason many consider Milei to be mainly responsible for the rebirth of liberalism in politics and in Argentine public opinion.
Away from the caste
National deputy and staunch defender of the free market, he tied a direct line especially with the younger ones, with the promise of putting an end to the traditional political system that he contemptuously calls “the caste”. His best-known proposal is to ‘dollarize’ the economy, putting an end to the devalued peso to curb inflation, as well as the closure of the Central Bank, the ministries of Education, Social Development and the privatization of public services (including health and education) and state-owned companies.
In recent months Milei has attracted controversy for suggesting that he would allow the free sale of firearms and even human organs, as well as criticism for his misogynistic comments. Furthermore, he intends to ban the legalization of abortion approved in 2020 and is against its decriminalization.
The markets also applaud Milei
The markets reacted well to his victory in the presidential elections. The ARGT ETF, which represents shares of companies listed in Buenos Aires, jumped more than 13% in the premarket in the United States. Instead, we have to wait until tomorrow to know the reactions on the main Argentine stock index, Merval: the Argentine stock market is closed today for the National Sovereignty Day holiday.