Milei and his political stance are well received by the rural sector

Special report from Argentina |

Javier Milei, the newly elected president of the Argentine Republic. Source: Instagram / @javiermilei.

After the overwhelming electoral victory of presidential candidate Javier Milei, an unprecedented socio-political and economic scenario opened up, never before seen with such forcefulness in Argentina, overwhelmed by the highest inflation (+140% per year, third in the world) and with poverty and indigence levels above 40%, among other chronic hardships that would take too long to enumerate.

A scenario that also shakes the region. And that causes surprise and attention in governments, trade blocs and international associations, since it will entail a revulsive change in Argentina's geopolitical and geoeconomic course.

It will also mean for the agricultural sector The proposal formulated by Milei's group is expected to bring about a change in government interventionism that has been demanded and longed for decades, La Libertad Avanza (LLA).

It will also influence trade relations in the region and the world. Milei, while announcing some time ago that he would be leaving the MercosurIn his speech, he made harsh diatribes against the president of Brazil, as well as against the Chinese regime.

The future chancellor, Diana MondinoThe Argentinean government, he said, qualified these inconveniences, which worry the local agro-industrial sector, since Argentina is the world's third largest buyer of Brazilian goods and the world's fifth largest exporter to Brazil.

Mondino also interceded with China in order to calm bilateral trade interests and tensions. China is the first destination of Argentine exports and the first country of origin of imports.

At the same time, Argentina's South American partners fear the same disruptive effects on the sought-after Mercosur-European Union agreement. In this context, the active presence of Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou, who is in agreement with Milei, could be a catalyst between the governments of Brazil and Argentina.

Luis Lacalle Pou This week he showed his pragmatism when he announced that Uruguay is moving towards a bilateral free trade association with China, as a result of the meeting he held with the Chinese government. Xi Jinping in Beijing.

Pragmatism is a skill that, it is worth mentioning, is now Javier Milei The President's government is showing in the arduous and at times tense definition of his cabinet of ministers. It is also clear that every tactical concession has its strategic effects.

Baglini's theorem in development

La política, desde ya, no es una ciencia exacta. Y las proyecciones de sus actores están sujetas a la naturaleza humana y a las condiciones y relaciones de fuerza del contexto. Aplica, en el impactante triunfo del libertario, lo que en Argentina reconocemos como el famoso “Teorema de Baglini”.

In summary, Raul Baglinia prominent deputy of the Radical Civic Union, aligned with former President Raúl Alfonsín (1983-1989), argued that the farther one is from power, the more irresponsible political statements become; the closer one is to power, the more sensible and reasonable they become.

It is worth saying that the hypothesis of Baglini's theorem is in the process of becoming, or not, a thesis.

The "caste" lurks

With 56% of votes in his favor, Milei has solid and genuine citizen support. He also managed to surpass all previous electoral percentages since the reinstatement of democracy in 1983, which grants him an impressive legitimacy without nuances in the Argentine political culture, as a result of an irreproachable election due to its transparency and civic climate. This contrasted and questioned all polls and analysts' forecasts.

But above all, it severely disqualifies the moral and ethical authority of the Argentine leadership, mainly political parties, trade unions, businessmen, the press and social intermediation entities.

A repudiation spiced and whipped up by Milei in the last two years, especially in TV appearances, with attitudes, in some cases verbally aggravating, and with extreme ideological positions. They had as a slogan, and inspiration and strength of their project, the characterization of "the caste" to the above mentioned. macro representation and consolidated of various factors of power of the Creole establishment and its satellites. Also nicknamed among observers as the "Red Circle".

Thus, the young defender of the anarcho-capitalist side of classical liberalism was able to embody the weariness of more than half of the Argentine electorate towards the structural vices and corruption of the socio-political system.

The epic transgression proposed by Milei is against a century of political, social and economic culture and the dominance of different versions of Peronism and corporate groups related to or tributaries of the typical Latin American populism of the left and the right. So it will not be without fissures or strong challenges of unpredictable scope. In contrast with this history, this new president won very strong popular support whose electoral percentages, prior to this, came from clients of the antagonists to the change in the making. He also won applause from all walks of life in the world and the region. Some discreet, cautious or formal, and others enthusiastic, such as former presidents Jair Bolsonarofrom Brazil, and Donald Trumpfrom the United States.

Field of hope

Today, however, it is a pure fact of reality that the Argentine rural sector received with great optimism and satisfaction the arrival of a government that sponsors market and trade freedom, and that removes from the countryside the burden of tax retentions and regulations that it has eternally rejected.

Así es que Milei cuenta con la favorable bienvenida de las fundamentales entidades ruralistas argentinas: Sociedad Rural Argentina (SRA), Confederación Intercooperativa Agropecuaria (Coninagro), Federación Agraria Argentina (FAA), Confederaciones Rurales Argentinas (CRA), Consejo Agroindustrial Argentino, y la Bolsa de Comercio de Rosario, el máximo puerto de exportaciones agrarias. Directivos de estas entidades han expresado en los últimos días su expectación positiva y voluntad de diálogo y cooperación con el nuevo gobierno.

This is a notable change in the relationship with the countryside in comparison with the previous Kirchnerist governments, with which the demands were repeated in a climate of permanent confrontation and tension:

  • the elimination of export duties,
  • the reduction of the tax burden,
  • correction of the backlog and unification of the exchange rate,
  • the repeal of restrictions on exports and imports of goods and inputs,
  • among other obstacles to production and marketing.

Today, in the new scenario, rural hopes are based on the chapter dedicated to the countryside in LLA's electoral platform, which proposes "basic structural reforms, starting with profound tax reforms and those related to greater efficiency in sanitary, phytosanitary and related controls".

It should be noted that, in Argentina, to give some examples, soybean export duties are 33%, and for wheat and corn, 12%. For beef, it is 9%.

However, given the economic and financial conditions that the future government will inherit, such profound changes cannot be implemented immediately, according to Milei.

Commitment to sustainable development and production

As the transition and installation of the incoming government proceeds step by step, the countryside is already certain that its representative in the government will be Fernando Vilella.

Vilella will head the Secretariat of Bioeconomy, a suggestive name for an area that will be created with his arrival and will replace the historic Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock.

It is no coincidence then that -according to La Nación newspaper- Vilella's chief of staff would be Pedro Vigneauformer president of the increasingly influential Argentine Association of Direct Sowing Producers (Aapresid) and president of the Argentine Corn and Sorghum Association (Maizar).

Nor is it a minor fact that Vilella's profile is biased towards sustainable production and sustainable development. Aged 68, he is a professor of Agricultural Markets and director of the Bioeconomy Program at the Faculty of Agronomy of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), where he left his last class applauded by the young students.

It is another sign that youth are the primary core of the electoral support of La Libertad Avanza (LLA). New generations - from "X" through "Millenials" and even "Z" - that demand and bet on a change of era, with audacity, determination, commitment, and without fear of the consequences.

Ricardo Chamorro
Ricardo Chamorro
Argentine journalist with accredited experience in the newspaper La Nación of Buenos Aires, in radios AM and FM Rivadavia, Continental, Ciudad, among others. He has written for ArgenTime magazine; he has participated as a journalist in Argentine television (Badía y Cía., news programs). He has also been a consultant in institutional press offices.

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