Jorge Fernández Menéndez- Milei: a leap into the void
Buenos Aires, November 19.– Argentina decided to take a leap into the void. Tonight the far-right Javier Milei (he defines himself as a “libertarian liberal”) widely won the second electoral round against the Peronist Sergio Massa.
The candidate with the most eccentric proposals won, from disappearing the Central Bank, dollarizing the economy, ending the ministries of Health and Education, ignoring the crimes of the last military dictatorship, the free sale of weapons and even organs. A candidate who proposed distancing himself from the Vatican, because he considers the pope Francisco “satanic”, or freezing relations with Argentina's two main trading partners, China and Brazil. All of that will probably remain a campaign speech.
What prevailed was something else, beyond the eccentricities and absurdities of the winning candidate: he won the vote against Kichnerism, especially the vice president. Cristina Fernandez and the currents that she and her son Maximum they head The number of atrocities committed in recent years, the conscious absenteeism of President Alberto Fernández, confronted with the vice president Christinaacts of corruption, the fact that Sergio Massa promised to end the economic policies that Sergio Massa was implementing as Minister of Economy, they ended up making the people fed up, who voted for a change that, to this day, it is not known exactly what it will consist of.
It is, literally, we insist, a leap into the void, in an extremely heterogeneous alliance, with very different personalities, proposals, styles, including the alliance that allowed the triumph of Milei: that of his own force, La Libertad Avanza (which has little legislative representation), built exclusively around him, with Together for Change, another center-right alliance that revolves around the former president Mauricio Macri (coalition that in turn also broke up in this election), which has much more legislators and positions than the party itself Milei.
In 19 days he will take over Javier Milei having won the second round with a large majority, 56 to 44 percent, but without having a majority in Congress, without controlling the majority of state governments (despite the fact that he won almost all of them in the second round) and in a country so fed up as tired and polarized.
Yesterday I saw some protesters with a handful of (fake) dollars in their hands who said that now they hope that Milei make them real. It is hope that prevails over reality. Once again emotion won.
It will be impossible to go through much of what is proposed: the economy will have to be rebuilt gradually and with a lot of common sense, because not only are there no resources or reserves, but there is a monumental external debt, enormous inflation and a constant devaluation, the budget It is embargoed and social commitments are out of reality. All of this requires negotiation, agreements (inside and outside the country) and a lot of sensitivity, which will have to be seen to what extent they exist in the winning coalition.
Today there is no clarity about who will accompany Milei in his cabinet. The urgent thing is to have a name for who will manage the economy. With Milei There are politicians who have been with Carlos Menemothers with Mauricio Macrisome independents without previous experience or marked extreme rightists like the vice president Claudia Villarruelwho was very close to the dictator Jorge Rafael Videlaand who has with her characters like the son of general Antonio Bussiconvicted of genocide after the last dictatorship, Ricardo Bussiwith who Milei He worked at the beginning of his political career and yesterday he celebrated his victory with the new president. Some very reputable analysts said that tonight a new ruling class was born in Argentina. I have my doubts, perhaps there are new characters, but old stories.
But governing is more than expressions of wishes. This Sunday night, the president-elect offered a more moderate speech than usual, he did not talk about any of the extreme measures, although he insisted on one point: the situation is critical, there will be no gradualism, lukewarmness or half measures and it will have to be quick . He did not talk about dollarization or the disappearance of the Central Bank, he insisted on a limited government that fulfills its commitments (a message in the face of the risks of default), with respect to private property and free trade. And he ended up quoting Peron: within the law everything, outside the law nothing.
- There are 19 turbulent days of transition ahead. One fact is certain: what will happen in Argentina is a true unknown, where reality can be so brutal that it can impose itself on will and ideology.
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