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ECONOMY | 01-04-2024 09:33

Javier Milei doesn’t see Argentina dollarising before midterm vote

“I don’t think we’ll get there before next year’s mid-term elections," declares president in TV interview with CNN en Español.

President Javier Milei doesn’t see his government dollarising the economy before next year’s midterm elections, providing the first inkling of a timeline on his most ambitious economic proposal from the campaign.

“I don’t think we’ll get there before next year’s mid-term elections but the goal continues to exist,” Milei, who took office December 10, told CNN en Español in a taped interview that aired Sunday night. 

Milei has previously said that dollarisation would come after his government cleans up the Central Bank’s balance sheet and overhauls the country’s financial system, without detailing any dates. While Milei insisted during the interview that he’s advocating for a “free competition of currencies,” he conceded the US dollar would likely be the strongest currency in circulation. 

Milei added that he’s working on a “financial system reform” that will serve as a key step toward eventually closing the Central Bank, another tenet of his economic plan. Milei didn’t provide details on the reform, nor its timing, but he doubled down on the need to close the monetary authority at some point. 

“We can do all the reforms we want, but if you let the Central Bank live, sooner or later the delinquent politicians are going to use it to steal from the people,” Milei said.

The libertarian president criticised politicians for “grossly and violently” robbing citizens, referring to the idea that unfettered money-printing by the Central Bank has landed Argentine inflation among the top in the world.

During the same interview, snippets of which were published earlier in the week, Milei slammed various Latin American leaders, including Colombian President Gustavo Petro. After calling him a “terrorist, assassin and communist,” Colombia’s government expelled Argentine Embassy officials.

Colombia and Argentina released a joint statement Sunday night that they held talks to “overcome any differences,” and that Argentine Foreign Minister Diana Mondino would visit Bogotá soon. 

by Manuela Tobias, Bloomberg

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