Status: 20.11.2023, 18:18 PM
Javier Milei celebrates with his sister Karina Milei. © Natacha Pisarenko/AP/dpa
Argentina's newly elected head of state is an eccentric. During the election campaign, the economist repeatedly appeared with a chainsaw running. His most important companions: his sister and his cloned dogs.
Buenos Aires - Javier Milei is planning nothing less than a revolution. In the midst of a severe economic crisis, Argentina's future president wants to turn things around and steer the South American country in a completely new direction. "The situation in Argentina is critical. Our country needs drastic change," Javier Milei said after his victory in Sunday's run-off. "There's no room for half measures."
The ultra-liberal economist - he describes himself as an "anarcho-capitalist" - wants to cut the state to a minimum, cut social programs and leave the free market largely to its own devices. The weakening national currency, the peso, is to be replaced by the US dollar, and he would prefer to abolish the central bank. This is a radical turnaround in Argentina, where the public sector traditionally plays a strong role and many workers are employed by the state.
The man with the chainsaw: Javier Milei at a campaign event. © Natacha Pisarenko/AP
Milei comes from a humble background and played as a goalkeeper for the Chacarita Juniors football club in Buenos Aires as a teenager. According to his own statements, he was repeatedly beaten by his father as a child, and only recently did he reconnect with his parents. Milei studied economics and later worked as a consultant and chief economist for several companies in Argentina. He published a number of books, appeared on television with disheveled hair and a leather jacket, and played in a rock band. Today, the 53-year-old is considered a passionate opera fan.
He calls his sister "el jefe"
Since 2021, Milei has finally sat in parliament as a deputy, where he railed against the political "caste" he hates. His closest confidant is his sister Karina Milei, whom he calls "el jefe" (the boss). She is considered the strategic mind behind his campaign. "Without them, none of this would have been possible," Milei said of his younger sister on election night.
Javier Milei has been in a relationship with comedian Fátima Flore for several months. © Rodrigo Abd/AP/dpa
In an interview, Milei once explained the siblings' roles as follows: "Moses was a great leader, but he wasn't good at spreading the word. So God sent Aaron to spread the message. Well, Kari is Moses and I'm the one who spreads the word. I'm just a multiplier."
Milei lives with several giant mastiffs, which he had cloned with his genetic material after the death of his previous dog Conan. They are named after liberal economists such as Milton Friedman and Robert Lucas. Milei, a long-time bachelor, has been in a relationship with comedian Fátima Florez for a few months now.
German Leopard 1 tanks fight their way through the mud in Ukraine
As a defense against F-16 fighter jets: Russia is probably relying on the "mainstay" again
Bizarre video shows: Russian commander throws his soldiers into pit without clothes
Erdoğan Claims 'Genocide' in Gaza – and Prepares Steps Against Israel
Green Party Congress with explosive material: Left against Realos – Asylum debate becomes a red rag
Fancy a voyage of discovery?
Reliant on alliances
Milei is seen as an eccentric who stubbornly sticks to his convictions and finds it difficult to compromise. However, his success as president is now likely to depend largely on how quickly he is able to forge alliances.
His party, La Libertad Avanza (Freedom Advances), does not have a majority of its own in either chamber of parliament, does not have a single provincial governor and probably does not even have enough qualified personnel to fill important key positions. Without a certain willingness to talk, Milei will not get far as president. Dpa