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A bizarre video shows Argentina’s president-elect revealing plans to scrap key government departments.
Right-wing populist Javier Milei has thrust the South American country into the unknown after beating economy minister Sergio Massa, 55.7 percent to 44.3 percent in Argentina’s presidential election.
Questions have been raised about how extreme the libertarian economist’s policies will be after the campaign saw Mr Milei, 53, revving a chainsaw to symbolically cut down the size of the state.
In a video widely shared on social media, Mr Milei can be seen tearing strips off a white board with each bearing the name of various government departments.
The footage shows Mr Milei cry “Out!” after naming departments including ministries of education, public works, transport, women, health and culture before ripping each off in turn.
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One X-user who shared the clip, commented: “You might not realise just how radical the new Argentine president Javier Milei actually is.”
Mr Milei started outlining more of his planned policies on Monday (November 20), telling a radio interview he would quickly move forward with plans to privatize state-run media outlets he received negative coverage from during his campaign and which he deemed “a covert ministry of propaganda”.
In another bizarre outburst, Mr Milei also said he wants to wrestle the Falkland Islands back from Britain.
The president-elect said state-controlled energy firm YPF should eventually be privatised, but first must be repaired so it can be “sold in a very, very, very beneficial way for Argentines”.
He told Bueno Aires station Radio Mitre: “Everything that can be in the hands of the private sector will be in the hands of the private sector.”
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Mr Milei, a self-described anarcho-capitalist with a dishevelled mop of hair, made his name by furiously denouncing the “political caste” on Argentine TV.
His pledge for abrupt, severe change resonated with Argentines weary of annual inflation soaring above 140 percent and a poverty rate that hit 40 percent.
Once in office, he has said he would slash government spending, dollarize the economy and eliminate Argentina’s Central Bank.
A fan of former US President Donald Trump, Mr Milei haspresented himself as a crusader against the sinister creep of global socialism with plans to purge the government of corrupt establishment politicians.
In the weeks before the runoff, though, he rowed back on some of his more unpopular proposals, such as loosening gun controls and sweeping, indiscriminate privatization.
Benjamin Gedan, Director of the Latin America Program at the Washington-based Wilson Center, said: “Hang on to your hat.”
He added: “Milei has toned down his anti-establishment rage lately and downplayed his more outlandish proposals, but it’s going to be a wild ride, given his combative style, inexperience and the few allies he has in Congress.”
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