Argentina’s President Is Going to War With Its Oil Provinces

What happens when Argentina’s oil provinces cut off supplies amid a head-to-head battle with the country’s new libertarian president, Javier Milei, who has approached his mandate with a guns-blazing attitude and little political support to back it up?

Milei is playing fast and loose with Argentine provinces that have grown accustomed to being treated with more deference and respect and now feel like they are being extorted, and the blowback could be phenomenal, with no sign that Milei is entertaining any notions of backing down. He is on the warpath. Just this week he fired 24,000 government workers in a brazen move to trim an overextended administration.

He wants to empower the Federal government at the expense of provinces that covet their own natural resources on a provincial, not federal, level. Milei is attempting to squeeze the provinces in order to deal with inflation, the fiscal deficit, and dwindling reserves. The original fight here is with the Patagonia region over tax disbursements.

They have vowed to fight to the last for full control over their natural resources; but so has Milei.

The two-way extortion dictates how Milei’s administration will survive the coming months and the first half of his first term as president.

In February, the Argentine Ministry withheld some $16 million from one province–Chubut, one of the Patagonian provinces that is the second-largest for oil and the third-largest…

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