Buenos Aires, Oct 11 (EFE).- Argentine President Alberto Fernández denounced libertarian candidate Javier Milei on Wednesday for “public intimidation,” considering that his statements could have generated the strong exchange tension that took the dollar above 1,000 pesos in the parallel market.
“The population was frightened about the real possibility that our currency, the peso, will not maintain its value and will continue to be the monetary sign of the country,” considered the head of state in the complaint to which EFE had access.
A day before the U.S. currency reached an all-time high of 1,050 pesos in the parallel market, with a gap of almost 190 % compared to the official exchange rate, Milei called the Argentine peso “excrement” in an interview and asked savers to liquidate their local holdings for dollars.
“Never in pesos, never in pesos. The peso is the currency issued by the Argentine politician. Therefore, it is not worth excrement because that garbage is not even suitable for fertilizer”, he said in an interview with Radio Mitre.
According to Fernández, these statements caused citizens with reserves in local currency to feel “afraid” and liquidate their fixed terms, which generated an increase in the value of dollars due to an “induced commercial demand.”
On Tuesday, the exchange gap was close to 190 % compared to the official exchange rate, which is quoted at 365.50 and remains stable and under strict restrictions for savers, which is the reason why people turn to the parallel or ‘blue’ dollar, currently quoted at 1,010 pesos per unit.
In the judicial documented presented by the Argentine president, placed under the jurisdiction of Federal Court 1 in charge of Judge María Servini, he also included the libertarian candidate for mayor of Buenos Aires, Ramiro Marra, and the candidate for deputy for the province of Buenos Aires, Agustín Romo.
“Today more than ever: do not save in pesos. Take care of your money. It cost you a lot to earn it”, added Marra in his social networks during that tense economic day.
The complaint is based on Article 211 of the Argentine Criminal Code, which defines the crime of public intimidation as “giving alarm voices, making signs or using other material means to instill public fear or stir up tumult or disorder.” It carries penalties of between 2 to 6 years in prison.
“These events were carried out by individuals who either hold an elected public office or are nominated to assume similar ones,” said Fernandez.
Argentina is going through a crisis due to rising inflation, which in August registered 124.4 % year-on-year and 40.1% poverty in the first half of 2023 while dealing with a shortage of reserves in the Central Bank.
The situation is aggravated by the constant monetary emission in local currency and a devaluation of 22 % practiced by the Executive Power on August 14, after the primaries that gave as winner Milei, who intends to establish an economic plan to dollarize the economy. EFE