By Emmanuel Nduka
Keeping to his promise to cut the cost of governance in Argentina, President Javier Milei has begun flying commercial airlines.
This he said, is part of his moves to dig the nation out of its worst economic crisis.
As he boarded his first commercial flight as President today, he was captured in a now viral video being welcomed by fellow passengers who had boarded earlier.
Shortly after taking over power, Milei who is gradually setting an example of good leadership, declared the sales of two airplanes belonging to the state-run oil company YPF (Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales) to save $3 billion per year.
The YPF is a vertically integrated, majority state-owned Argentine energy company engaged in oil and gas exploration and production, used exclusively by “privileged politicians” in the country.
Just recently, Milei slashed car purchases for government officials by 50 per cent and also announced a reduction in government drivers and vehicles.
He took over the country struggling with runaway inflation and has begun to do everything he could to tackle the economic crisis.
“One of the great objectives we have as a Government is to put an end to privileges. The adjustment we intend to make on political expenses, only in operating expenses, is around US$ 3 billion per year.
“Talking about 15,000% inflation is frightening for everyone and that is what we are working on. It is good to understand that today inflation is running at around 3,678% per year; this 1% of daily inflation leaves us immersed in hyperinflation that we are trying to avoid and we are making an effort so that the catastrophe does not end up happening,” Mr Milei said in a statement issued earlier this month by his spokesman, Manuel Adorni.
Economists have revealed that the move by Milei changed the country’s official rate to 800 pesos per dollar from 365 pesos and comes just days into his term.
Revealing the reduction in the exchange rate gap between the official and “blue” – an euphemism for the black market, Milei pointed out that his administration was focused on injustice, which was another major objective to put an end to privileges by politicians.
Shortly after taking the oath of office earlier in December, Milei had told the citizens of the country to brace for massive public spending cuts as parts of emergency measures to help the nation’s struggling economy.
The south American country had been trapped in recurring cycles of deep and destructive economic contractions brought on by policies that force governments to routinely spend more than they collect through taxes and other income.