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The newly-elected president of Argentina has announced he will be cutting 5,000 government jobs, refusing to renew the workers’ contracts.
President Javier Milei will not continue the employment of anyone hired by the federal government in 2023 before his election earlier this month.
Individuals hired by the government before 2023 will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
ARGENTINA’S PRESIDENT MILEI HOLDS LIVESTREAM RAFFLE FOR HIS LAST SALARY AS LAWMAKER
President of Argentina Javier Milei gestures during his inauguration ceremony in Buenos Aires. (Tomas Cuesta/Getty Images)
Milei, who ran on promises of radical free-market capitalism, has made substantial layoffs and rolled back regulatory red tape in order to disentangle what he believes is a suffocating web of government control.
“The goal is (to) start on the road to rebuilding our country, return freedom and autonomy to individuals and start to transform the enormous amount of regulations that have blocked, stalled and stopped economic growth,” Milei said.
“We don’t have alternatives and we don’t have time. We don’t have a margin for sterile discussions. Our country demands action, and immediate action. The political class left the country at the brink of its biggest crisis in history,” he said to thousands of supporters in the capital, Buenos Aires, after being elected.
JAVIER MILEI, NEWLY ELECTED ARGENTINIAN PRESIDENT, BEGINS ‘SHOCK THERAPY’ BY DEVALUING PESO AGAINST THE DOLLAR
Supporters celebrate the inauguration of Javier Milei in front of the National Congress building in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Matias Chiofalo/Europa Press via Getty Images)
He added: “We don’t desire the hard decisions that will need to be made in coming weeks, but lamentably they didn’t leave us any option.”
Since taking office on Dec. 10, Milei has made good on many campaign promises to fundamentally overhaul the historically socialist federal government of Argentina.
But Milei’s drastic overhaul of the country’s economy is not expected to be a smooth operation. The president himself has characterized it as financial “shock therapy” that will negatively affect thousands of citizens.
Earlier this month, Milei signed a decree outlining his plan to address the crisis. The plans included the privatization of state-owned companies, though he did not name the specific firms, Reuters reported. He previously said he favors the privatization of state-owned oil company YPF.
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Argentina has South America’s second-largest economy, but is suffering 143% annual inflation, which caused the country’s currency to plummet.
The country also has a trade deficit of $43 billion as well as $45 billion in debt to the International Monetary Fund, with $10.6 billion due to private and multilateral creditors by April.
Fox News Digital’s Greg Wehner contributed to this report.
Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at [email protected]