Daily Review: 100 Days In, Argentina’s Milei Is His Own Worst Enemy

Daily Review: 100 Days In, Argentina’s Milei Is His Own Worst Enemy
Argentine President-elect Javier Milei waves during his victory speech after winning the presidential runoff election, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 19, 2023 (AP photo by Natacha Pisarenko).

When Argentine President Javier Milei, a far-right libertarian and political firebrand, took office in December, observers’ expectations ranged from a worst-case scenario of immediate meltdown to a best-case scenario of drawn-out political paralysis.

100 days later, where Milei confirmed the most alarmist expectations is in his leadership style, which tends toward the meltdown end of the spectrum. He has been impatient in trying to force through his reforms, inflammatory in his rhetoric toward his critics and partners alike, and authoritarian in his attempts to rule by decree.

Where Milei has surprised many is in actually getting some results from the economic shock therapy he has already applied. His austerity measures have included slashing state spending, trimming subsidies and adjusting the official exchange rate so it is more in line with the unofficial one. Combined, that has given the government some breathing room in the form of a primary budget surplus, its first in over a decade.

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