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Argentine Senate Approves Milei’s Plan for “Economic Shock Therapy” Amid Mass Protests

HeadlineJun 13, 2024

Argentina’s Senate has narrowly passed far-right libertarian President Javier Milei’s highly contested reform bill. As lawmakers debated the measure on Wednesday, protesters outside the National Congress in Buenos Aires were met with riot police who deployed tear gas and made multiple arrests. Among other things, the bill imposes sweeping austerity and privatization measures and slashes labor rights. Opposition Senator Martín Lousteau spoke during Wednesday’s debate.

Sen. Martín Lousteau: “This bill gives everything, instantly and forever, to the big companies, and it tells pensioners to wait. The big companies get less taxes and tax stability for 30 years. In the tax package, Argentina’s biggest millionaires get less taxes and stability for 15 years. But pensioners who contributed for 30 years don’t even know how much money they’ll get next month.”

Among the planned spending cuts is the dissolution of the government office dealing with gender violence. The head of that office, Claudia Barcia, resigned last week.

The bill must now go back to the lower house, which already approved an earlier version in April. The measure could be fully approved later today.

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