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Far-right Javier Milei assumes Argentina's presidency and promises "a new era"

2023-12-10T16:28:46.914Z

Highlights: Far-right Javier Milei assumes Argentina's presidency and promises "a new era" The leader of La Libertad Avanza said that a period of "peace, prosperity and growth" has begun and that he will leave behind decades of fights and decisions that have "destroyed" the country. Milei, 53, addressed thousands of supporters who listened to him on a stage set up behind Congress. He was sworn in as president for a four-year term replacing Peronist Alberto Fernández (2019-2023)


The leader of La Libertad Avanza said that a period of "peace, prosperity and growth" has begun and that he will leave behind decades of fights and decisions that have "destroyed" the country, in a ceremony in Congress accompanied by world leaders of the right.


By Debora Rey and Almudena Calatrava - The Associated Press

Argentina's new president, far-right Javier Milei, told supporters that his coming to power marked the beginning of a new era that puts an end to decades of decline in the South American country.

Milei, 53, addressed thousands of supporters who listened to him on a stage set up behind Congress, where he was sworn in as president for a four-year term replacing Peronist Alberto Fernández (2019-2023).

[Who is Javier Milei, the libertarian radical elected by Argentines to "rebuild" the country and expel the "political caste"]

The leader of La Libertad Avanza told the people gathered who waved Argentine flags and shouted "Freedom, freedom" that a period of "peace, prosperity and growth" had begun, which will leave behind decades of fights and wrong decisions that he believes have "destroyed" the country.

In a gesture in line with his criticism of traditional politicians, whom he considers a "caste" of privileged, the far-right economist decided to address his compatriots directly, instead of giving a speech before the Legislative Assembly where he took the oath of office.

Argentina's outgoing President Alberto Fernandez congratulates Javier Milei after handing him the presidential sash at Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023.Natacha Pisarenko/AP

The new president stressed that Argentina suffers from a disastrous legacy of the center-left government that preceded him, in which the large fiscal deficit and galloping inflation that today is more than 142% per year stand out.

Milei warned those gathered that there will be an adjustment to put the economy in order.

[Vatican confirms Pope Francis and Javier Milei had a "pleasant" talk of several minutes]

The libertarian had already announced before assuming the presidency that he will apply a painful spending cut to combat rising prices and multiple liberal reforms that aim to end the current populist model.

In a ceremony in Congress, Milei swore in the constitution for a four-year term before outgoing Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who governed from 2007 to 2015.

The legislative assembly was attended by right-wing world leaders such as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and the head of the Vox party, Spain's Santiago Abascal.

Before taking the oath of office, Milei signed "Long live fucking freedom" in the book of honor of the Congress of Presidents, the slogan with which he ends his political messages.

To shouts of "Freedom, freedom," Milei's supporters in the legislative hall greeted the new president.

In a sign of the political rift in Argentina, Fernández de Kirchner showed her displeasure with the militants of the Libertad Avanza who booed her previously, upon her arrival in Congress.

The former center-left president responded defiantly to the shouts by raising the ring finger of her right hand with the rude gesture.

["Javier Milei is the president." Peronist Sergio Massa admits defeat to ultra candidate in Argentina's election]

Five leftist legislators waiting in their seats for the libertarian's arrival held up signs that read "No to Milei's chainsaw plan against the people."

According to the program for the rest of the day, Milei will get into a Valiant III convertible car provided by a collector and move to the historic Plaza de Mayo, the traditional epicenter of protests and celebrations.

The president, who perceives himself as Jewish, although he has not yet converted, will first walk to the Cathedral for an interfaith ceremony.

In the afternoon, Milei will swear in ministers and receive international guests.

Also attending Milei's inauguration were former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro; the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, and the head of the Vox party, Santiago Abascal, far-right leaders who share their visions.

Brazil's leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva tops the list of conspicuous absentees, followed by his colleagues Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico and Gustavo Petro of Colombia, the three most sympathetic to Kirchnerism — center-left Peronism — that has governed so far.

Lula declined the invitation, upset that Milei called him "corrupt and communist" during the campaign.

[Argentina goes to the polls, with promises of dollarization and chainsaw cuts]

The exception was Chile's leftist president, Gabriel Boric, who did attend the far-right's seizure of power.

Nicolás Maduro (Venezuela), Miguel Díaz Canel (Cuba) and Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua) were not even invited.

At the close of his first day as president of Argentina, Milei will attend a gala at the Teatro Colón. Local media reported that the far-right asked the orchestra to perform Balada para un loco, the tango composed by the legendary bandoneonist and composer Astor Piazzolla.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-12-10

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