Argentina’s Milei orders major deregulation of economy

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Argentina’s new leader Javier Milei on Wednesday unveiled a series of measures to deregulate the country’s struggling economy, eliminating or changing more than 300 rules via presidential decree, including on rent and labor practices.

“The goal is to start along the path to rebuilding the country… and start to undo the huge number of regulations that have held back and prevented economic growth,” Milei said in a televised speech from the presidential palace, flanked by his cabinet.

Latin America’s third-biggest economy is on its knees after decades of debt and financial mismanagement, with inflation surpassing 160 percent year-on-year and 40 percent of Argentines living in poverty.

Milei, who was elected last month and took office 10 days ago, has pledged to curb inflation, but warned that economic “shock” treatment is the only solution, and that the situation will get worse before it improves.

Among the changes announced on Wednesday are the elimination of a law regulating rent, as well as rules preventing the privatization of state enterprises.

Milei also announced a “modernization of labor law to facilitate the process of creating real jobs” and a series of other deregulatory measures affecting tourism, satellite internet services, pharmaceuticals, wine production and foreign trade.

Following the speech, thousands of people converged on the streets near the Congress to voice their discontent.

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