close
Wednesday February 21, 2024

Milei sworn in as Argentina braces for economic reforms

By AFP
December 11, 2023

BUNEOS AIRES: Javier Milei was sworn in on Sunday as Argentina´s president, as the country steels itself for harsh spending cuts and economic reforms aimed at curbing rampant inflation.

The 53-year-old libertarian economist has vowed there will be no “half-measures” as he tackles decades of overspending, debt and convoluted currency controls in Latin America´s third-biggest economy.

Argentinas new president Javier Milei waves at the crowd from a balcony of the Casa Rosada government palace during his inauguration day in Buenos Aires on December 10, 2023. — AFP
Argentina's new president Javier Milei waves at the crowd from a balcony of the Casa Rosada government palace during his inauguration day in Buenos Aires on December 10, 2023. — AFP

“I swear to God and country... to carry out with loyalty and patriotism the position of president of the Argentine nation,” he said as he took the oath of office. Thousands of supporters lined the streets outside Congress, waving the country´s blue-and-white flag and chanting Milei´s rallying cry of “freedom!”

“Perhaps it will take us many years to rebuild the country but maybe this is the beginning of a new era for us,” said Javier Lobos, 41, a shopkeeper. “We will be able to work and strive to fulfill our dreams without the burden of suffocating taxes, inflation and the strain of a currency system that is crippling our nation.”

The event brings together a diverse handful of world leaders, including Ukraine´s President Volodymyr Zelensky and Hungary´s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban -- the only EU leader who has maintained close ties to Russia.