17 Apr 2024, 08:15

Argentina's Milei reverses pledge to fly commercial

BUENOS AIRES, April 17, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Argentina's budget-slashing President Javier Milei will no longer travel on commercial flights, the government said Tuesday, reversing a cost-saving stance taken amid the country's biting economic crisis.

Milei, who has slashed subsidies for fuel and transport and cut tens of thousands of public service jobs in his quest to halt Argentina's economic decline, had also forsworn using the three planes in the presidential fleet.

The about-face was based on the advice of Security Minister Patricia Bullrich in a confidential report, presidential spokesman Manuel Adorni told reporters.

On Monday, Bullrich had told local television that despite budget constraints, "we must take care of the president."

Milei's staunch support for Israel has sparked fears the country's Jewish community could be vulnerable to attack.

"We are already on the radar," the president, who has recently embraced Orthodox Judaism, said last week.

Since he took office in December, the self-declared "anarcho-capitalist" has traveled on commercial airlines for his official trips, posting videos on social media of him taking selfies with fellow passengers.

On one such trip to Davos in January, where he slammed socialism as a threat to the West in an address to political and business elites, Milei claimed to have saved the Argentine people almost $400,000.

Milei is expected to start using the Boeing 757 "Tango 01" as early as Friday on a trip to the south of Argentina for a meeting with business leaders.


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