Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei, on Tuesday announced an official devaluation of the peso of 50%, virtually turning on the chainsaw that he famously used at campaign events. The government also announced it was canceling tenders for new public works projects, dismissing all government workers who have been in their posts for less than a year, a reduction of energy and transportation subsidies as of February, and a drastic reduction in the transfer of federal funds to the provinces. The far-right, populist president wants to slash some $20 billion in public spending and will do so as quickly as possible. “There is no money,” the Minister of Economy, Luis Caputo, reiterated as he announced the government’s first economic measures in a recorded message.

The official exchange rate went from 400 pesos to the dollar to 800, a sudden devaluation of 50%.

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