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The Argentinian people recently voted. After two rounds of voting in October and November, the Argentines chose neither the previous left-wing party nor the opposition right-wing party, instead placing their trust in a new star in Argentina’s political firmament. Javier Milei and his party “La Libertad Avanza” secured over 55% of the vote and was thus elected as the new president. But who is Javier Milei actually?
The name Javier Milei is probably new to many, as the 53-year-old has not been heard of much before. Until recently, his media presence was limited to his role as goalkeeper in an Argentinian soccer team and as a member of a small rock band.
In the shadow of these rather atypical activities for a politician, Javier Milei has also received a considerable economic education. He has a degree in economics, two master’s degrees and has written several books on economic and political topics. For a time, he worked as a professor (titular professor) at the Universidad de Belgrano and the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa, but was dismissed from this position for insulting his students, among other things.
Javier Milei also worked for a time as chief economist for several companies and was a government advisor for the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes. He was also an advisor to the Argentine National Congress.
Milei gained real media presence through various television appearances in which he attacked Argentina’s socialist governments and blamed them for the suffering and poverty of the people. Among other things, this earned him his own radio show. His provocative and direct manner has made him stand out. He does not talk about closing something, but about blowing it up, brings a chainsaw to the lectern and is also prepared to insult and shout at people and institutions at every opportunity in order to give his statements the desired effect.
In 2021, Javier Milei founded his party, La Libertad Avanza, and received 17% of the vote in the first election that year. In the 2023 presidential election, Milei and his party won 55% of the vote and were sworn in as President of Argentina.
The United States congratulated Javier Milei on his electoral success as President of Argentina and recognized the strong democratic process that made this possible. The impressive voter turnout and the smooth running of the elections testified to the strength of the country’s electoral and democratic institutions.
You also expressed your pleasure at working with President Milei and his government. The common goals they will work on include the protection of human rights and democracy, as well as measures against climate change and investment in the middle class for the benefit of both nations.
Argentina has been in an economic downward spiral for a long time. Inflation is rising, the economy is lying idle and life is becoming increasingly difficult for Argentinians due to high prices. Many people want something to change and for their country to return to the economic power it once was. Javier Milei takes exactly the same line. While many people in Argentina have lost confidence in the socialist party, Milei is promoting radical changes to bring about an economic upturn.
In the course of his candidacy, the incumbent president has presented many ideas and plans, many of which have also caused a stir internationally. For example, he spoke of closing the Argentinian central bank and abolishing the peso as a currency, as it was no longer worth anything. Instead, he wants to introduce the US dollar as a means of payment. The politician also promises that the previously nationalized companies will all be transferred to private ownership and that socialism in Argentina will come to an end once and for all. Another important point in Milei’s election program is the downsizing of the government apparatus, which he wants to do primarily by closing what he calls unnecessary ministries. These cuts will primarily affect ministries such as environmental protection, equal rights and social affairs.
It is not only the radical measures announced that have led to international criticism of Javier Milei, but also the positions he has taken on a number of political and social issues. Among other things, he takes the position that man-made climate change does not exist and that it is a lie of socialism. He also spoke out in favour of lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility and imprisonment and partially privatizing prisons. Weapons possession, drug and even organ trafficking are areas that Milei would like to see legalized. In a recent public television debate, he also relativized the crimes of the military dictatorship that harassed Argentina for years, describing them as “not so bad”.
How much of the announced measures and changes will actually be implemented remains to be seen, and it is also unclear whether they will really bring about the hoped-for economic upturn. One thing is certain, however: for many Argentinians, Javier Milei is currently the great beacon of hope who they hope will bring an end to their longstanding poverty.