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Argentina’s new president lays off 5,000 civil servants hired in 2023, before taking office

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The administration of new Argentine President Javier Milei said Tuesday that his government will not renew the contracts of more than 5,000 employees hired this year before he takes office.

The move was part of a sweeping plan of cuts and devaluations announced by the right-libertarian since taking office on December 10 to transform Argentina’s struggling economy.

The contracts of other government employees, hired before 2023, will be reviewed, authorities said. The 2023 deadline is apparently intended to target the practice of outgoing presidents inflating payrolls in their final year.

With inflation expected to reach around 200% by the end of the year, Milei has pledged to cut government regulations and wages, and allow the privatization of state-owned industries to boost exports and investment. .

The budget cuts have already sparked protests, but Milei has pledged to move forward.

“The goal is to embark on the path to rebuilding our country, returning freedom and autonomy to individuals and beginning to transform the enormous amount of regulations that have blocked, stalled and halted economic growth “, did he declare.

About 300 previously announced changes would allow the privatization of many state-owned companies and relax protections for tenants, employees and buyers.

The measures include a 50% devaluation of the Argentine peso, reductions in energy and transport subsidies and the closure of some ministries. They occur in a context of galloping inflation and growing poverty.

Milei, a 53-year-old economist who became famous on television with profanity-laced tirades against what he calls the political caste, became president with the support of Argentines disappointed by the economic crisis.

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Follow AP’s coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean at https://apnews.com/hub/latin-america

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