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ARGENTINA | 01-03-2024 16:38

Large security operation near Congress ahead of President Milei’s speech

Around 5,000 members of the security forces – federal and from Buenos Aires City – have been made available; President Milei set to deliver state-of-the-nation speech to lawmakers in Congress.

Argentina's government has prepared a large security operation in the vicinity of Congress ahead of President Javier Milei's state-of-the-nation speech this Friday.

Contrary to custom, the address will take place at 9pm, rather than noon, and President Milei will speak from a lectern, from where he is expected to deliver a speech “riddled with data about what’s to come in Argentina,” as anticipated by Presidential Spokesman Manuel Adorni.

The security plan was drawn up in advance, with the fine details agreed at series of meetings at the Casa Roada. Talks continued up until Tuesday, with members of the Casa Militar security team and representatives from all four federal forces: the Federal Police (PFA), Coast Guard (PNA); National Gendarmerie (GNA) and Airport Security Police (PSA) involved. Officials from the Buenos Aires City Police, SAME emergency service and transit officials were also involved.

Similar to last December's presidential inauguration, around 5,000 members of the security forces will be deployed on the streets around Congress to secure the area. Fences will be set up along Avenida de Mayo and parts of Avenida Callao. 

Two arrivals plans are in place, depending on whether President Milei travels to Congress from the Olivos presidential residence or the Casa Rosada.

 

 

Several unions, social organisations, protest groups and left-wing parties have vowed to take to the streets around Congress to protest against the head of state.

 

Content

As for the content of the speech, Adorni explained earlier this week that the president had not written his speech in advance. 

He did reveal that it would be based on the government's "findings" and would be “riddled with data of what’s to come in Argentina.”

In line with his other keynote speeches, the President’s address "will not be moderate," added the spokesperson,.

The Cabinet chief’s office has provided the head of state with ideas and data collected from the different ministries. In this respect, local reporting on Thursday said that Milei was awaiting the results of an auditor’s report to prepare a speech with a strong content “against corruption.”

Government sources say the final read will be undertaken by political strategist Santiago Caputo and will include contributions from ex-Central Bank governor Federico Sturzenegger, one of Milei's top advisors and the “architect” of Milei's failed 'omnibus bill' and sweeping deregulation emergency decree.

Speculation among commentators has focused on the tone of Milei's speech. Most expect him to detail the legacy left by the administration of former president Alberto Fernández, but it is conjecture and hearsay. 

Speaking on Thursday, the President claimed that “while Congress is as is, it will be difficult to approve the reforms” proposed by his government, attributing the situation to “politicians who have no problem harming the interests of Argentines to keep their privileges.”

In this respect, he confided that from now until the midterm elections, “there are other reforms” that can be “passed by decree."

In his weekday press conference on Friday, Adorni asked for “respect and for him to be heard closely and to prevent anything happening outside or inside against the institutions and against the health of democracy.”

That was a pointed warning to the planned demonstrations, which will be mostly dominated by the Unidad Piquetera and other left-wing organisations.

In parallel, La Libertad Avanza activists also announced on social networks that they will gather outside Congress to support the President – underling why the authorities are appealing for calm.

 

– TIMES/NA

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