In Argentina, Javier Milei faces a massive economic crisis
The Economist says To an American audience, Argentina’s election may seem uncannily familiar. A political outsider with bouffant hair and a history of outrageous remarks promises to make the country “great again”, and is written off by the liberal elite before winning the presidential poll with a large backing of the population, many of whom feel left behind. Yet the election, on November 19th, of Javier Milei, a self-described “anarcho-capitalist”, is not a repeat of Donald Trump’s playbook in the pampas. Mr Milei faces a far trickier economic situation than any American president in recent years. Many voted for him not because of his inflammatory rhetoric—but in spite of it, in an act of desperation.
Argentina is in a terrible state. Annual inflation is currently over 140% and is expected to reach 200% by early next year. That is up from 54% when Alberto Fernández, the outgoing Peronist president, took office in 2019. Four in ten Argentines live in poverty. In the weeks ahead of the election Sergio Massa, the economy minister and Mr Milei’s opponent, ramped up a populist splurge in handouts, equivalent to around 1% of gdp.