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ARGENTINA | 10-12-2023 16:35

Key phrases from Javier Milei’s first speech as president

President Javier Milei delivered his first speech as head of state from the steps of the National Congress building on Sunday – here's what he told the nation.

President Javier Milei delivered his first speech as head of state from the steps of the National Congress building on Sunday – here are a selection of key quotes and phrases from his inaugural address:

 

– "The Argentines have overwhelmingly expressed a desire for change from which there is no return. There is no turning back, we have buried decades of failure and senseless disputes. An era of peace and prosperity, of freedom and progress is beginning.”

– "Just as the fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of a tragic era for the world, these elections have marked the turning point for our history."

– "Today we begin the reconstruction of our country."

– "No government has received a worse inheritance than the one we are receiving."

– “There will be a fiscal adjustment of 5 points of GDP that will fall on the public sector.”

– "Even if we stop printing money today, we will continue to pay the costs of the monetary imbalance of the outgoing government. We are going to pay for it in inflation.”

– "It is necessary to clean up the Central Bank's interest-bearing liabilities, thus putting an end to money-printing and with it, the only empirically true and theoretically valid cause of inflation.”

– "The exchange-rate trap, another legacy of this [former president Alberto Fernández’s] government, not only constitutes a social and productive nightmare, but also the surplus of money today is double what it was before the Rodrigazo economic crisis of 1975]. The Rodrigazo multiplied the inflation rate by six; a similar event would mean multiplying the rate by 12. And given that it has been travelling at a rate of 300 percent, we could go on to an annual rate of 3,600 percent. At the same time, given the situation of the Central Bank's liabilities, which is worse than it was during hyperinflation, in a very short time the amount of money could quadruple and thus raise inflation to levels of 15,000 percent per year. That is the inheritance they are leaving us, an inflation rate of 15,000 percent a year that we are going to fight tooth and nail to eradicate.”

– "They have ruined our lives and driven down our wages tenfold. Therefore, we should not be surprised that they are leaving us 45 percent poor and 10 percent extreme poverty.”

– "There is no possible alternative to austerity. Nor is there any room for discussion between shock and gradualism. All the gradualist programmes ended badly, while all the shock programmes – except the one of 1959 – were successful. If a country lacks a reputation, businessmen will not invest until they see the fiscal adjustment.”

– "There is no money. There is no alternative to austerity and shock [measures]. It will have a negative impact on activity, employment, the number of poor and extreme poor. There will be stagflation, but that will not be very different from the last 12 years.”

– "There will be light at the end of the road.”

– "The only way out of poverty is with more freedom.”

– "We neither seek nor desire the tough decisions that will have to be taken in the coming weeks, but we have been left with no choice. Our commitment is unalterable.”

– "We know that the situation will get worse, but we will see the fruits of our efforts."

– "It will not be easy, 100 years of failure cannot be undone in one day, but one day begins and today is that day.”

– "This new social contract proposes a different country, in which the state does not direct our lives. He who cuts [the streets], does not get paid."

– "We are not here to persecute anyone, our project is not about power, it is about the country.”

– "Those who want to use violence or extortion to obstruct change are going to find a president of immovable convictions who uses all the levers of the state to advance the changes that the country needs."

– "I prefer an uncomfortable truth to a comfortable lie."

– "May the forces of heaven be with us in this challenge. It will be difficult, but we will succeed. Long fucking live freedom!”

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