Javier Millay, a libertarian economist, has won the presidential election in Argentina with 56% of the votes. His campaign promises to take a different approach than the state previously implemented, which includes closing government offices and fully shutting down the central bank as part of the “dollarization” process. This comes in response to the hyperinflation that led to an annual inflation rate of 142%. However, it remains unclear how Congress will govern in practice with Millay as president.
Critics question what led to Millay’s rise in Argentine politics, suspecting that it came more as a result of Massa’s flaw as Minister of Economy in the previous government. Millay is considered eccentric with his love for his four dogs and eccentric hobbies. Despite this, he has been popular with various groups in Argentina because of his criticism and attacks against the country’s leadership. The country has been suffering from economic issues, poverty, and high inflation.
Lev Ari believes that the ability to control the entire economy by the government has resulted in a gap between the rich and poor in Argentina. The country’s past attempts at stabilizing its economy have failed, leaving it struggling to handle its economic crisis. Millay’s party, “Freedom is Progressive,” received only 37 seats out of 257 in Congress while the previous government party still holds most seats. Prof Rein argues that Argentina’s economic problems are tied back to its role as a food producer, reliance on capital outside of its financial system, and collapse of Peronism.
Millay’s promises seem to tap directly into real problems facing Argentina while also creating a narrative that suggests current leadership does not represent people’s will or results in failed policies. As president now, people hope he can provide solutions to these challenges facing their country.