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ECONOMY | 21-12-2023 17:44

‘You are now free to buy dollars’ – Milei legalises trading at parallel exchange rate

President asserts that “buying the 'blue' dollar is no longer a crime” as he legalises operations in 'cuevas,' or foreign exchange houses.

President Javier Milei stated on Thursday that after his emergency mega-decree comes into effect, buying and selling US dollars on parallel markets is “no longer a crime.”

Milei, 53, said that once Emergency Decree 70/2023 was issued, buying and selling would not be penalised.

“Buying the parallel 'blue' dollar is not a crime anymore. The dollar is free. Nobody will persecute you for it,” the President said during a radio interview.

Milei was referring to one of the core aspects of the economic deregulation contained in the Emergency Decree published on Thursday in the Official Gazette.

Under the terms of the decree, the activity of “cuevas” – unofficial bureaux de change outlets that were previously illegal – is no longer a crime, nor is changing money with the famous “arbolitos” money-changers who trade on the streets of Buenos Aires and other cities nationwide.

Addressing Argentina’s strict currency controls – known locally as the ‘cepo’ – Milei  explained that he would move forward with the lifting of foreign exchange restrictions when the “Central Bank is finally cleaned up” and “when we’re done recovering the excess money from the economy.”

“We can’t open up while the conditions are not there,” Milei warned.

Moreover, he held that with the first measures “we’re being honest about the macroeconomic imbalance” while he acknowledged that “there are things in the stabilisation package I don’t find pleasant but I do them to curb hyperinflation.”

Milei stated that “there is a set of unpleasant measures to restructure cash,” while he stressed that “60 percent of the adjustment falls back on the state.”

 

– TIMES/NA

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