Streets of Argentina erupt with anger against new Milei proposals

Anti-government protesters march against new shock economic measures in downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023
Anti-government protesters march against new shock economic measures in downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023 Copyright Gustavo Garello/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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Thousands of Argentinians have taken to the streets to oppose the country's new president Javier Milei who took office earlier this month promising drastic cuts to public spending.

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Newly elected President Javier Milei announced dozens of new measures on Wednesday evening. They included sweeping initiatives to transform Argentina’s struggling economy, including easing government regulation and allowing privatisation of state-run industries as a way to boost exports and investment.

Protesters angry at the announcements were met in the streets by police, while hundreds gathered in front of the Argentine Congress.

Unphased by the crowds, Milei vowed in a televised address that his measures would set Argentina on the path to success. 

“The goal is start on the road to rebuilding our country, return freedom and autonomy to individuals and start to transform the enormous amount of regulations that have blocked, stalled and stopped economic growth in our country,” he said.

In response to the protests, Milei’s security minister Patricia Bullrich announced new measures to maintain public order that allows federal forces to clear people blocking streets without a judicial order and authorises the police to identify — through video or digital means — people protesting and obstructing public thoroughfares.

Under the legislation, the state will be able to bill protesters for the cost of mobilising security forces.

Milei won the presidency on the back of a campaign to slash public spending. So far, he has adjusted the value of the Argentinian currency, promised not to renew the contracts of public employees who have been in their posts for less than one year, and announced increases in the prices of basic services and public transportation.

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