Argentina elects a president on Sunday. Voters will have to decide between an anarcho-capitalist who campaigns with a chainsaw and an Economy Minister to whom we owe 148% inflation. The consequences, we suspect, will be painful.
It is a refrain that those who follow, even from afar, the political, social or economic life of Argentina have already heard: the country is going through the “worst crisis”. This time it has been for at least two decades; at other times, it has been for half a century or even “in its entire history”.
Unfortunately, superlatives are not out of place. The year was difficult for the country’s economy, which contracted by around 3%. Per capita income is expected to fall 15% below 2011 levels.
POOR AND POOR
More than 40% of the population lives below the poverty line, a figure that was 7% just over ten years ago. Currently, it is estimated that six out of ten Argentine children under the age of 18 live in households considered poor.
The recession is probably already well entrenched and by the end of the year inflation is expected to reach 185%. This, then, is what the candidate who emerges as the winner of tomorrow’s presidential elections will have to face.
CHOOSE BETWEEN PLAGUE AND CHOLERA
The choice presented to Argentine voters is a real torture: either put Economy Minister Sergio Massa in power, who saw inflation rise 148% under his leadership, or give the presidency to Javier Milei, a former singer from a rock group converted into economists and who at school were nicknamed “El loco”, the madman, because of the tantrums he threw.
Today, in fact, many consider the political program he proposes to be totally out of order. Javier Milei calls for, among other things, the closing of the Central Bank, the evisceration of government programs and the adoption of the US dollar as Argentina’s currency.
In response to an electorate made up of many young people, especially men, who often say they are fed up with the entire Argentine system, Milei constantly returns to the charge against the “thugs” and “thieves” of the political class.
PROVOCATED AND CONCERNED
In addition to campaigning with a chainsaw to show what awaits him in government programs if he is elected, Javier Milei destroyed live a piñata representing the Central Bank, which he accuses of contributing to the triple-digit inflation he is experiencing the country.
In reality, he doesn’t do anything like other politicians. He has only a small circle of confidants, including his sister Karina, who has become his campaign manager. Milei, who is single, suggested earlier this year that she could become his “first lady”. His closest friend is also said to be his dog Conan, whom he had cloned for $50,000 after his death in 2017.
An admirer of Donald Trump, Javier Milei entered politics with the aim of disrupting the system. In the state Argentina’s economy is in, the fact that Sergio Massa still has a chance of winning gives an idea of the concern that inspires Javier Milei.
- 51 years
- Union for the Fatherland
- Minister of Economy
- 37% in the first round of the presidential elections
- 53 years old
- Freedom Advances
- Member of Parliament, economist
- 30% in the first round