Milei warns Argentine parliament he will govern 'with or without' political support

Argentina's libertarian President Javier Milei, in his first policy speech to parliament Friday, said he would push his package of sweeping economic reforms whether or not legislators back it.

"We are going to change the country for good... with or without the support of political leaders, with all the legal resources of the executive," Milei told lawmakers, who have stalled his project of deregulation and budget cuts.

"If you look for conflict, you will have conflict," he told them.

Milei offered a recap of his first 82 days in office, in which he devalued the peso more than 50 percent, slashed state subsidies for fuel and transport, cut tens of thousands of public service jobs, and scrapped hundreds of rules in his bid to deregulate the economy.

"I ask for patience and trust," Milei said. "It will be some time before we can perceive the fruit of the economic reorganization and the reforms we are implementing."

Many of his planned reforms face challenges in court, with more than 60 lawsuits under way by labor unions, business chambers and NGOs, while Argentina has seen massive protests by citizens who fear Milei's plans will leave them poorer.

"We have not yet seen all the effects of the disaster we inherited, but we are convinced that we are on the right path, because for the first time in history we are attacking the problem by its cause: the fiscal deficit, and not by its symptoms," Milei said.

In recent weeks, Milei has reached out to influential provincial governors, party leaders and former presidents to forge a "new social contract" for the country, based on ten principles, including a "non-negotiable" balanced budget, "inviolable" private property, and public spending reduced to the "historic" level of 25...

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