Javier Milei President of Argentina, is launching the deregulation of the country’s economy, starting with 300 measures, implemented through a single decree called Decree of Necessity and Urgency. These forceful decisions, aimed at privatizing public companies and ending price controls on basic goods and services, have already generated the first protests in the streets of Buenos Aires.
Among the most controversial decisions is the repeal of a series of laws: the rent law, eliminating the current three-year contract and returning to the previous two-year contract, as well as the dollarization of operations; the supply law, which allowed the fixing of maximum prices in the markets; and the gondola law, which controlled the prices of products in supermarkets, avoiding sharp rises due to hyperinflation.
Shock therapy to dismantle the State
In total there are 300 measures that repeal or modify laws with the aim of deregulating the economy and privatizing companies, avoiding the control or participation of the State, which from now on will play a secondary or null role in important economic decisions. “We must return freedom and autonomy to individuals, freeing them from the State,” said the Argentinean president.
This is the implementation of the principles of the so-called Austrian School, an economic theory based on methodological individualism, a concept that understands that social phenomena result from the motivations and actions of individuals, criticizing any intervention by a public power.
Milei explained his plans to the citizens through a televised message from the Casa Rosada, the seat of the presidency, surrounded by his ministers, including only two women. The ultra-liberal Argentinean president is thus fulfilling his electoral program, thanks to which he was recently elected head of state in the southern country.
In his message, the president listed up to thirty of these “emergency” measures, in addition to those already announced a few days ago, such as the devaluation of the Argentine peso.
Scope of Javier Milei’s measures
In fact, from now on, Argentina will deregulate everything, from pharmaceuticals to Internet satellites, and will work to turn state-owned companies into anonymous corporations, including the emblematic airline Aerolíneas Argentinas.
With this decree, the President has announced that “the reconstruction” of the country is beginning, thanks to the “deregulation of commerce, services and industry throughout the national territory.”
This is the economic recipe of the new Argentinean president, who is thus trying to curb three-digit inflation in a country with no foreign exchange reserves and a skyrocketing fiscal deficit.
Protests in the streets
Protests from some sectors opposed to these drastic measures have not taken long to arrive. Pot-pounders and hundreds of indignant citizens have made their way to the Congress of Argentina. These sectors critical of the decree see in it the dismantling of public protection for the weakest, giving preeminence to the interests of the business sector.
Judicial appeals have already been announced against the Necessity and Urgency Decree, meaning that the President’s intentions may suffer some delays until its legality is judicially clarified.
What does seem evident is that Argentina is taking the opposite path to the one taken so far, which has certainly not served to reverse an economic collapse that has plunged a very significant part of the population into poverty. The ultraliberal measures of the new government are going to cause immediate imbalances and complications for a large part of the population.
This was acknowledged by the president shortly after taking office. However, Argentina hopes that soon, the economic recovery of these measures will allow an improvement in the living conditions of a population that has been punished for years by an economic crisis that seems to be endemic and cyclical in the country.