Argentina’s newly crowned president-elect, Javier Milei, has confirmed that he intends to nationalise a number of state media outlets and the YPF SA government-controlled energy firm.
“Everything that can be in the hands of the private sector will be in the hands of the private sector,” said the La Libertad Avanza leader in an interview on Monday morning, the night after his triumph in the presidential run-off.
Milei, a 53-year-old economist, plans to slash government spending and has promised to “end the cancer of inflation” with sweeping economic reforms, including the dollarsiation of Argentina’s economy and the shuttering of the Central Bank.
YPF, which was nationalised in 2012 under former president Cristina Fernández de Kichner, is a huge player in Argentina's energy sector.
Milei said on Monday that "the first thing to do is to recompose" the state oil and gas firm, which has the single biggest share of Vaca Muerta shale field output.
The libertarian lawmaker told Radio Mitre in an interview that the company had “deteriorated in terms of results” since its nationalisation and that the company “is worth less than when it was expropriated."
Argentina’s president-elect did not outline a timeline for its selling off.
"In the transition we are thinking about in the energy issue, YPF and [state-run energy company] Enarsa have a role to play. As long as these structures are rationalised, they will be put in place to create value so that they can be sold in a very beneficial way for Argentines,” said Milei.
Reiterating his disgust for public media and their biases to the force in power, Milei also said he would sell off state broadcasters TV Pública and Radio Nacional, as well as the Télam state news agency.
"We consider that TV Pública has become a mechanism for propaganda," he defined.
"Seventy-five percent of the time that our space was talked about [on state media], it was done in a negative way, with lies, and in support of the [government’s] campaign of fear.
“I do not subscribe to these practices of having a ministry of propaganda,” the libertarian said dismissively.
"I do not support a covert ministry of propaganda: it has to be privatised,” he reiterated. “The same with Radio Nacional. Everything that can be in the hands of the private sector will be in the hands of the private sector.”