The streets of Buenos Aires woke up to a calm Monday morning on 20 November after Argentina overwhelmingly voted to elect Javier Milei as president. Milei’s supporters celebrated at the famed Obelisk in the city center until early in the morning, chanting songs of freedom and hoping for the dawn of a new era of Argentine politics and economy. Some of Milei’s fans stayed after the party picking up the trash to show that they are “different” from the Peronists now exiting the administration.
The fact that it is coincidentally a public holiday that marks “Sovereignty Day” – for a key battle for Independence in the 19th Century – adds to a feeling of relief after more than five months of a frenetic campaign. To many Argentines – whether they voted for Milei or for the defeated Economy Minister, Sergio Massa – it feels like the calm that precedes a storm likely to hit the country in the coming days.
In his victory speech, Milei acknowledged that his reform agenda would “face resistance” and pledged to “act with all the force of the law” to push it forward. We expect a three-week transition period to be volatile. It may well come with another round of devaluation of the peso that would further fuel inflation.
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