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Argentina’s president-elect reaffirms promise to shut down central bank

Argentina's libertarian president-elect wants to implement radical economic reforms to end the runaway inflation plaguing the South American country.

Published: November 24, 2023 4:50pm

Argentina’s president-elect, Javier Milei, reaffirmed his campaign promise to close down the South American country’s central bank.

The upstart libertarian posted his intentions on X, formerly Twitter, on Friday responding to what he said were “false rumors” that he would walk back on the pledge amid indications that he is retreating from his promise to ‘dollarize’ Argentina’s economy. Milei also appears to be selecting a more moderate cabinet than his campaign rhetoric indicated, according to Reuters.

In a press release reposted by Milei’s official X account, the President-elect stated that the closure of the country's central bank is a “non-negotiable.”

The libertarian candidate was elected Argentina’s new president this week after rising to prominence as a television commentator who railed against government spending and the ruling political class of the country.

One of Milei’s key—and controversial—promises was to eschew Argentina’s own currency in favor of the American dollar as a way to end the runaway inflation, which has exceeded 140% recently. This plan is called 'dollarization.'

Milei has described himself as an “anarcho-capitalist,” a type of libertarian fiercely dedicated to the free market and an enemy of socialism. Milei wants to eliminate half of Argentina’s government ministries, opposes radical feminism and abortion, and seeks to trim government to limit the influence of what he describes as Argentina’s “political caste,” reminiscent of Donald Trump’s promises to “drain the swamp.”

Despite his campaign promises, Milei still faces challenges in implementing his plans. His coalition has limited seats in the legislature and he has to compromise with the country’s mainstream conservative party, which was instrumental in his election after the party provided backing to his outsider candidacy.