Irascible, frank, spontaneous, the ultraliberal economist Javier Milei became known thanks to the vehemence of his economic diatribes and broke the mold of the Argentine political two-party system until reaching the presidency this Sunday with the promise of dollarization.
With statements against the “parasitic and stupid political caste” [ladrona]», the libertarian convinced more than half of Argentines to «dynamite» the Central Bank, reduce the size of the State and cut public spending.
Argentina navigates three-digit annual inflation and poverty that affects 40% of its population. It is in the context of these economic sorrows that voters chose his disruptive program over the proposal of his rival, Economy Minister Sergio Massa, a centrist Peronist.
“Milei’s proposals to lift Argentina give us hope of staying because young people, if this continues, have the idea of leaving the country,” Carolina Carabajal, 20, explained to the AFP agency.
Milei denies that there is a wage gap between men and women, considers abortion a murder and believes that “policies that blame humans for climate change are false.”
It also rejects the consensus of 30,000 disappeared during the last dictatorship (1976-1983) established by human rights organizations, estimating that figure at less than a third.
With proposals like these, which before in Argentina “were marginal and now became central,” he became a leader of “unusual public relevance for the hardest right in Argentina,” concludes Gabriel Vommaro, political scientist at the University of San Martín. .
Milei channeled the rage of those who are disappointed in Peronism, the political current that has marked the history of Argentina since the 1940s, created around the figure of the populist military man Juan Domingo Perón.
“People begin to listen to an indignant man who seems alienated, and think ‘finally someone speaks like me’, because he has the frankness to say things,” insists Belén Amadeo, a political scientist at the University of Buenos Aires.
However, his initially very confrontational style did not survive beyond the first electoral round in October, in which he received 30% of the votes. He should have sought agreements and, for that, put out his inflammatory statements. Thus she obtained the support of her conservative and previous rival, Patricia Bullrich, and the approval of former liberal president Mauricio Macri (2015-2019).
With abundant, wild hair for which he is nicknamed “the Wig,” the 53-year-old president-elect is also frequently called “crazy.” To these nicknames, he responded during the campaign: «Do you know the difference between a genius and a madman? The success”.
Milei as an ‘influencer’ was born on television in 2015, participating in furious economic gatherings. Then, her comments fed social networks and reached young people, for many of whom her speech was novel and rebellious.
Matías Esoukourian, a 19-year-old economics student, commented that this is the reason why he follows him. “He has no experience and many times that shows,” said the young man. “But when you see him talk about economic issues, you can see that behind what he says there is passion and knowledge.”
Milei worked in the private sector until 2021, when he was elected deputy of the newly formed La Libertad Avanza party. Since then, he broke the Argentine bipartisan system and dominated the media agenda.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1970, as a young man he played soccer and sang in a band that covered Rolling Stones songs. According to “Loco,” the unauthorized biography of journalist Juan Luis González, Milei does not recognize the death of his dog Conan and refers to him as one of the “five” dogs/sons that accompany him.
His other four English mastiffs are Conan clones ordered by Milei in the United States. She relates to them, the living and the dead, thanks to the supposed teachings of a “medium” specialized in “interspecies communication.”
Single, without children and with few friends, he recently introduced the actress and comedian Fátima Flórez as his girlfriend on a television program. He studied Economics at the University of Belgrano and completed two postgraduate degrees at local institutions. He has published several books and has also been accused of plagiarizing entire paragraphs.
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