But after less than two months at the helm of Latin America’s third-largest economy, the self-described anarcho-capitalist is already facing off against opponents in the streets and in Congress, where some of his overhauls have already been derailed. Its inflation rate is now the world’s highest, surpassing even Venezuela’s.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Milei said he wouldn’t waver from his campaign promise to shake up the state-controlled economy, despite the acute short-term economic pain it will bring.
“There is no Plan B,” Milei said Tuesday at Casa Rosada, the pink-colored presidential palace in downtown Buenos Aires. “There is no room for feelings, for emotions. I can’t afford that luxury. There are 47 million people waiting for answers.”
Speaking a day before thousands filled the streets and disrupted air travel to protest his overhauls, Milei asserted that the measures are already showing signs of success.
Argentina’s inflation, at 211%, is close to reaching its peak, he said, predicting that “in two years we will have ended inflation, for sure.” The central bank has added $5 billion in the past month to its once-depleted foreign-currency reserves.
He has begun unwinding regulations that have long choked business, including price controls for food and restrictions on renting apartments that had created housing shortages. He has decreed hundreds of changes and has presented an omnibus bill to Congress to reduce the state’s role in the economy.