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ARGENTINA | 20-12-2023 17:26

Argentina's President Javier Milei to outline 'mega-reform' in nationwide address

Presidential Spokesperson Manuel Adorni confirms that President Javier Milei will address the nation in a national broadcast at 9pm this evening; President will outline his attempts to "de-regulate" Argentina's economy.

President Javier Milei will deliver a 'Cadena Nacional' national broadcast at 9pm on Wednesday evening, in which he will outline how he will attempt to "de-regulate" Argentina's troubled economy.

Presidential Spokesperson Manuel Adorni confirmed the president would address the nation in his daily press conference earlier in the day.

Milei is expected to outline his economic and labour reform package, which reportedly introduces, modifies or removes as many as 600 articles of law. 

He is expected to do so in an urgent presidential decree, though critics have called for him to submit the proposals by introducing a bill to Congress.

Some of the reforms sought by Milei are expected to be sent to lawmakers – for example, those related to tax and changes to the electoral system. The government reportedly wants to remove the PASO primaries from the voting calendar, supposedly due to cost.

At least three bills are expected to be presented following Milei's speech. 

President Milei's decree will include changes to labour regulations, simplify bureaucratic formalities to modernise the State and order the repealing of Argentina's Renters' Law.

The La Libertad Avanza leader will also propose to limit the right to launch strike strike, promote the UOCRA construction union model which replaces severance pay with unemployment funds and cut back on fines issued to employers, in addition to define harsher sanctions for protesters and extend employment trial periods from the current three months to nearly one year.

As of Wednesday, the content of the decree was being reviewed, particularly the fine print, to prevent it from being challenged in the courts by unions and political and social organisations.

Government sources said details would not be released until after Milei's speech.

The national broadcast will take place on the same day as the first major demonstration to be faced by the Milei administration, amid the tension with social organisations.

The government moved to introduce a strict  anti-picket protocol to clamp down those who block roads. Officials said those who block roads and receive welfare support from the state would be cut off. 

 

Laws to be repealed

Milei's decree will seek to repeal legislation for supermarkets and land ownership. The aim is to foster a freer climate in trade and industry, promoting competition and reducing state intervention in the economy. 

  • Supermarket Shelf Law: this law seeks to prevent market concentration and promote competition, limiting the space the same provider can have on supermarket shelves, establishing a minimum percentage for products from SMEs.
  • Land Law: it regulates the possession of rural land by foreigners, establishing a limit to the number of hectares they can own, seeking to preserve national sovereignty over production resources.
  • Buy Local Law: it promotes national industry, providing that the State ought to prioritise the purchase of products and services produced in Argentina, in order to strengthen the local market and support local producers.
  • Supply Law: this law provides the State with tools to intervene in cases of abuse of power or practices distorting the normal supply of essentials, seeking to protect consumers.

Another key aspect in Milei’s reforms will be centred on labour legislation, such as the elimination of updates in severances and the elimination of corporate solidarity in cases of outsourcing. These measures, according to the government, seek to make the labour market more flexible and promote job creation.

These economic and labour reforms, though viewed as necessary by the government, might generate varied debates and reactions in Argentine society. Whereas some sectors applaud openness and de-regulation, others express concern for the possible repercussions in labour rights and social protection.

President Javier Milei held a meeting at the Casa Rosada with all 23 provincial governors and the Buenos Aires Mayor, where he prepared a detailed report about the economic legacy.

 

– TIMES/PERFIL

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