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Argentine president begins flying commercial to lead example in country’s cost-cutting measures

Earlier this month, Mr Milei slashed car purchases for government officials by 50 per cent.

• December 30, 2023
President Javier Milei
President Javier Milei [Credit: BBC]

Following his promise to cut the cost of governance, Argentina’s President, Javier Milei, has begun flying commercial airlines as part of his move to dig the nation out of its worst economic crisis.

He was welcomed by fellow passengers who boarded the commercial flight earlier today in a viral video.

Mr Milei, who is gradually setting an example of good leadership, had, shortly after taking the mantle of power, declared the sales of two airplanes belonging to the state-run oil company YPF (Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales) to save $3 billion per year.

The YPF is a vertically integrated, majority state-owned Argentine energy company engaged in oil and gas exploration and production, used exclusively by “privileged politicians” in the country.

Earlier this month, Mr Milei slashed car purchases for government officials by 50 per cent and also announced a reduction in government drivers and vehicles.

He took over the country struggling with runaway inflation and has begun to do everything he could to tackle the economic crisis.

“One of the great objectives we have as a Government is to put an end to privileges. The adjustment we intend to make on political expenses, only in operating expenses, is around US$ 3 billion per year.

“Talking about 15,000% inflation is frightening for everyone and that is what we are working on. It is good to understand that today inflation is running at around 3,678% per year; this 1% of daily inflation leaves us immersed in hyperinflation that we are trying to avoid and we are making an effort so that the catastrophe does not end up happening,” Mr Milei said in a statement issued earlier this month by his spokesman, Manuel Adorni.

However, economists have revealed that the move by Mr Milei changed the country’s official rate to 800 pesos per dollar from 365 pesos and comes just days into his term.

Revealing the reduction in the exchange rate gap between the official and “blue” – an euphemism for the black market, Mr Milei pointed out that his administration was focused on injustice, which was another major objective to put an end to privileges by politicians.

Shortly after taking the oath of office earlier in December, Mr Milei had told the citizens of the country to brace for massive public spending cuts as parts of emergency measures to help the nation’s struggling economy.

Argentina had been trapped in recurring cycles of deep and destructive economic contractions brought on by policies that force governments to routinely spend more than they collect through taxes and other income, according to economists.

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