Wednesday 24th of April 2024

the fascist chainsaw in the hand of a "shock-therapist liberal"........

Argentina’s president-elect, Javier Milei, has promised “shock therapy”to fix the country’s beleaguered economy, which has been hit by one of the world’s fastest inflation rates and a looming recession, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

Milei, who beat Economy Minister Sergio Massa in Sunday’s runoff election, pledged radical measures for the Argentine economy that will reportedly include shutting the central bank, ditching the peso for the US dollar and slashing public spending.

Argentina is faced with a debt of $44 billion due to be paid to international bondholders and the International Monetary Fund next year. To cover the arrears, the country will require “a big current account surplus amid a stabilization plan,” according to Martin Castellano, head of Latin America research at the Institute of International Finance.

This puts Milei, a 53-year-old economist, former TV pundit, and one-time legislator without executive experience, in front of an “enormous” challenge at a time when state coffers are empty and inflation is nearing 150%.

Argentina’s president-elect used to carry a chainsaw as a symbol of his planned cuts but has shelved it in recent weeks to help boost his moderate image.

Milei’s ambitious vision of a market-friendly, small-state, dollarized Argentina will finally be put to test. He has yet to clarify on timing and process for dollarization — which, with negative reserves, doesn’t seem feasible for the near term,” said Bloomberg’s Latin America economist Adriana Dupita.

The extreme strategy, which resonated with voters suffering from soaring poverty and economic malaise, has raised concerns among many economists who fear that Milei’s “shock therapy sets Argentina on a path of deep uncertainty.” Experts warn that dollarizing the $622 billion economy at a time when international reserves are depleted could plunge the South American nation into another spell of hyperinflation.



chainsaw politics....

European voters under age 35 are increasingly supporting “far-right”political candidates, not out of xenophobia but because conservative populists seem to offer more solutions to the quality-of-life issues that concern them most, the UK’s Guardian newspaper has claimed.

“Across the continent, the image of the radical-right voter – typically white, male, non-graduate and, above all, old – is changing, and studies suggest that in several countries, support for the far right is growing fastest among younger voters,” the Guardian said on Friday. Italian political scientist Catherine de Vries told the newspaper that while many young voters aren’t in ideological alignment with far-right candidates, they are swayed by those who pledge greater “livelihood security” as their lives become more precarious.

The Guardian noted that conservative parties are appealing increasingly to young voters in such countries as Italy, Austria, France, Germany, Sweden and Denmark. The trend also was evident in last week’s Dutch election, in which the victorious Party for Freedom (PVV) fared even better among voters under age 35 than it did overall.

A 24-year-old Amsterdam man told the media outlet that he and his friends voted for PVV leader Geert Wilders because the right-wing candidate “wants to figure out the housing crisis and make our health care better.” He added that many “woke” people in big cities focus on such issues as climate and gender while ignoring the “real problems” facing Dutch citizens today. “I am not a racist because I voted for Wilders. It frustrates me that migrants receive more help from the government than Dutch people, but I’m not against Islam. I don’t want mosques closed. I just think we need to control immigration better.”

Other political analysts lamented that far-right parties had successfully positioned themselves as “cool,” in some cases skillfully reaching large audiences on social media. One observer claimed that a rising “ultra-right” counterculture has been able to “reach and radicalize” many young Europeans.

However, Pawel Zerka, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said economic insecurities are the key driving force. “Young voters haven’t moved rightwards on migration, abortion, minority rights,” he said. “Far-right parties have convinced them that they offer a credible economic alternative.”


READ MORE: German state labels rising party as ‘extremist’

A 22-year-old woman in Amsterdam said she and her family members voted for the PVV party because the current Dutch government didn’t seem to care about their top concerns, including inflation. “When it comes to migration, people from a war country deserve a better life here, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of Dutch people,” she said.