Sturzenegger sworn in as minister and internal dispute begins

Sturzenegger sworn in as minister and internal dispute begins
Sturzenegger sworn in as minister and internal dispute begins

July 6, 2024 – 01:05

After weeks of postponements and intrigues, Javier Milei swore in Federico Sturzenegger, who will be Minister of Deregulation and Transformation of the State, with clear praise. It was in a formal ceremony in the White Room of the Casa Rosada, attended by the entire Cabinet, including the Minister of Economy, Luis Caputo, but the President’s main advisor, Santiago Caputo, who had also pushed to limit the powers of the new official, was absent.

The event was confirmed yesterday morning, after serious doubts about whether it would be held with all the pomp or would be limited to a publication. In the end, the former happened, and practically the entire Cabinet attended, except for the powerful consultant and the vice president, Victoria Villarruel, who in her confrontation with Karina Milei rarely sets foot in Balcarce 50.

The ceremony, scheduled for 6 p.m., was delayed by half an hour and was brief and formal, as expected. However, Milei was particularly good-humored. For example, when the swearing-in clerk made a mistake when mentioning the time, the head of state joked: “I’m going to set the clocks too.” The room laughed. Then, in a political gesture, he praised Sturzenegger: “What a luxury I’m giving myself,” he said before definitively incorporating his “colossus” into the Cabinet.

Luis Caputo watched the scene with the rest of his colleagues, from the front row.

At the end of the ceremony, the head of state embraced Sturzenegger, stepped down from the platform and immediately approached his Minister of Economy, who was just rising from his chair, to hug him effusively and whisper a few words to him. He then did the same with Diana Mondino, with Francos, and continued greeting the rest, including the protagonist’s family.

After being sworn in, taking selfies and family photos with his team, Sturzenegger, who had brought his team of collaborators, approached the journalists accredited to the Casa Rosada who had been able to access a swearing-in for the first time in this administration (in previous ones they had been prohibited from recording it).

He told reporters that he would limit himself to “clarifying” his agenda, but he did not answer questions. “One of the lines we are going to be working on is economic freedom. There is that famous phrase that says that the more laws, the less justice. I have been asked to take that step away from productive activity,” he said. He added that his next activity will be to take his “Hojarasca” law to Congress.

Finally, he mentioned his role in transforming the State. “We have to understand that every peso spent by the public sector is a peso that someone pays,” he said before leaving.

In the first row on the right, where the officials were supposed to sit, sat the President’s sister, Karina Milei; right next to her, Foreign Minister Diana Mondino (perhaps a sign that she will remain in her post after rumors that she was unhappy with her administration); the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Martín Menem, and the Chief of Staff, Guillermo Francos.

Behind them were the Ministers of Defense, Luis Petri; Security, Patricia Bullrich; Human Capital, Sandra Pettovello; Justice, Mariano Cúneo Libarona; Tourism Secretary, Daniel Scioli; Interior Secretary, Lisandro Catalán; his Cabinet counterpart, José Rolandi; Health Secretary, Mario Russo; Attorney General, Rodolfo Barra; Legal and Technical Secretary, Javier Herrera Bravo; and presidential spokesman, Manuel Adorni. Also joining at the last minute was the deputy and friend of Milei, Lilia Lemoine.

Karina’s advisor, Eduardo “Lule” Menem, and members of Milei’s social media communications team were also present.

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