Argentina’s lower house approves Milei’s budget-slashing bill

Argentine lawmakers gave approval in principle Tuesday for a swath of liberalizing reforms eyed by President Javier Milei in a rare legislative boost for his budget-slashing agenda.

After a marathon session that lasted overnight, the lower house provisionally approved what remains of Milei's flagship "omnibus" reform bill with 142 votes against 106. There were five abstentions.

The bill includes some 230 articles -- down from the initial 600-plus rejected by lawmakers who sent the government back to the drawing board in February.

Self-declared "anarcho-capitalist Milei won elections last November vowing to take a chainsaw to public spending and reduce the budget deficit to zero.

Read more‘El Loco’ at the helm: What next for Argentina under outsider president Javier Milei?

By decree, he has cut the cabinet in half, slashed 50,000 public jobs, suspended new public works contracts and ripped away fuel and transport subsidies even as wage-earners lost a fifth of their purchasing power and annual inflation approached 290 percent.

In Congress, where Milei's party is a minority in both houses, things have not gone his way.

(AFP)


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