For the old order with a mechanical saw. Argentine Trump to the cube
A man with disheveled hair and thick sideburns enters the scene. Loud rock music plays in the background and the crowd goes crazy. It is November 19, 2023 in Buenos Aires. This is not a concert, but the campaign headquarters of Javier Milea, the new president of Argentina.
Milei defeated his main rival Sergio Massa in the second round of the presidential elections, winning almost 56 percent of the votes. After being sworn in on December 10, he will become the first right-wing president of Argentina in over two decades. A country struggling with over 140% inflation and a long-term economic crisis.
Milea’s victory was met with a lively reaction from the media, politicians and international public opinion – due to the numerous controversies it arouses. Milei describes himself as an anarcho-capitalist. He became famous for his extravagant style, aggressive language and controversial statements.
On the one hand, some commentators call him a populist because he puts forward demands that are already known to be partially unrealistic. Moreover, although he is a millionaire himself, a media personality and a well-known economist, he went to the elections with the slogan of fighting the “political caste” and taking power away from the corrupt elites.
On the other hand, he is an apologist for the free market, a conservative ultra-liberal who does not bite his tongue. He calls for the dollarization of the economy, the liquidation of the Central Bank of Argentina, radical cuts in social spending, the introduction of a ban on abortion and the privatization of everything possible. He does not believe in climate change and disputes crimes committed during the military dictatorship.
People who know him say he says what he really thinks. During one of the pre-election debates, he spoke very favorably about Margaret Thatcher. You don’t have to be an expert in the region to know that it’s difficult to win over anyone in Argentina with such words. It was Thatcher who sent troops to the Argentine coast in 1982 and won the Falklands War. In foreign media he is compared to Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro – former president of Brazil. Among Polish politicians, he is closest to Janusz Korwin-Mikke, but unlike the doyen of the Polish right, despite controversial statements, he gained the support of over half of the voting Argentines.
Who is Javier Milei – the new president of the third largest economy in South America? And who is behind it?
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