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Argentine Citizens Demonstrate Against Milei's Changes to Economy
Americas Economy

Argentine Citizens Demonstrate Against Milei’s Changes to Economy

On Wednesday, a large number of Argentines gathered in the streets of Buenos Aires to express their opposition to a proposed economic reform and deregulation by President Javier Milei.

The demonstrators, organized by labor unions, marched to request that the courts take action to nullify the mega-decree that they believe would eliminate safeguards for workers and consumers.

The Congress is holding a special session this week, as requested by ultra-libertarian Milei, who has been in office since December 10. They will be discussing the proposed plan.

The order would alter or eliminate over 350 economic rules in a nation that is used to significant government involvement in the economy.

Some of the changes include getting rid of a limit on how much landlords can charge for rent, reducing certain protections for workers, and removing laws that prevent companies from raising prices unfairly. This is happening during a period of high inflation, with an annual rate of over 160%, and a poverty rate above 40%.

On Saturday, several civic organizations submitted a legal request to deem the decree as violating the constitution.

On Wednesday, demonstrators held up flags of Argentina and signs that said: “Our country is not up for sale.”

Gerardo Martinez, leader of the construction union, stated at the march that while President Milei’s legitimacy is not in doubt, it is important for him to honor the separation of powers. He also emphasized the importance of workers standing up for their rights in cases of unconstitutionality.

Milei’s proposed strategy to reduce state spending, dubbed the “chainsaw plan,” has sparked a string of demonstrations against the government.

The decree also covers the elimination of automatic pension raises, limitations on the ability to strike, and a gradual removal of price limits on private healthcare services.

In an effort to reduce government expenses, approximately 7,000 civil service contracts were terminated.

If Congress does not completely abandon the plan, the decree will go into effect on Friday.

Milei’s political party, Freedom Advances, which holds far-right views, currently has 40 out of 257 representatives in the Congress and 7 out of 72 senators.

Martin Lucero, a 45-year-old teacher who participated in the protest, stated that the decree undermines all labor rights.

He stated that the citizens of Argentina elected Milei as their president, not as their emperor.