Newly Elected President Abolishes Half of Argentina’s Government Ministries on Day One

( – Javier Milei was sworn in as Argentina’s newest president on December 10. He promised drastic changes during his first speech as the country’s leader. He made good on one of his promises within hours of being sworn into office.

Argentina’s inflation is currently on a path to hitting 200%. The new president has said he wants to discard the country’s currency and switch to the US dollar. He explained that the nation has “no alternative to a shock adjustment.” Milei said the economy won’t get better in the short term because “[t]here is no money.”

Milei explained to the country that the previous administration left the nation “on track towards hyperinflation.” He said they would need to make drastic cuts, but it would have to fall on the federal government, “not the private sector.” Later that day, the new president signed a decree to cut the number of ministries from 18 to nine. He’s keeping the Interior, Foreign Affairs, Defense, Economy, Security, Health, Justice, Infrastructure, and Human Capital Ministries.

The Human Capital Ministry is brand new. Milei created it as one of his first acts and appointed his friend, Sandra Viviana Pettovello, to oversee it. He eliminated the Women, Gender, and Diversity Ministry to create it. The issues the former ministry handled have now been assigned to the new one.

The new president also took the bold step of giving his sister, Karina Milei, a job as secretary general to the presidency. It was against the law for presidents to appoint family members to government positions; however, to allow his sister to hold public office, Milei had to repeal a decree former President Mauricio Macri signed.

Although the new president has faced criticism for his radical agenda, many Argentines have expressed hope. Laura Soto, a restaurant worker in the capital, told Reuters that she thinks Milei “will do well.”

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