Argentina’s Painful Return to “Economic Orthodoxy”

Source: NACLA Report on the Americas

The new Macri government in Argentina has embarked on a rapid-fire series of conservative economic reforms, threatening public sector employment and social programs.

Since taking office on December 10, Argentina’s new president Mauricio Macri has moved at a hurried pace to overhaul twelve years of progressive economic and social policies implemented by the successive Néstor and Cristina Kirchner governments.

In his first two weeks, and governing by “emergency” decree, Macri lifted currency controls—devaluing the peso by 30 percent—passed a decree seeking approval from Congress to slash education spending by half, and attacked the hard-won Broadcast Media Law that limited media concentration. He also eliminated the Kirchners’ agricultural export taxes, removed a series of electric and gas subsidies, and shut down the popular Kirchnerist television talk show 678. Though many conservatives heralded the changes, the country’s social movements have responded with outcry and protest.

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