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Saturday, June 10, 2023

In Argentina, a far-right congressman raffles off his salary, causing quite a fuss

Almost 950,000 individuals signed up to take part in Javier Milei's lottery, a Vox-like party in Argentina

“I am from a vertiginous country where the lottery is the most important part of reality.” In 1940, Jorge Luis Borges, the writer from Argentina, published ‘The Lottery of Babylon,’ in which he imagined a civilisation dominated by luck. “Like all the men of Babylon, I was a proconsul; like all, I was a slave; I have also known omnipotence, opprobrium, and prisons,” the protagonist states at the start of the novel. Eighty-one years later, in a more modest but no less alarming manner, Javier Milei’s deputy opted to draw his monthly salary as a legislator. The uproar was quick. Almost 950,000 Argentines decided to enter the online drawing in the hopes of winning the parliamentary allowance of nearly 1,700 euros. The outcome should be revealed on Wednesday, in the midst of a wave of omicron variant contagions and a raging heat that, on rare occasions, melts the cities.

The amount of people who have decided to gamble is not explained by a sudden ludopathic vocation, but rather as an indication of societal despair. According to the most recent government statistics, 43.8% of Argentines are impoverished. 31.3% of this total are between the ages of 15 and 29, and over 40% are children under the age of 14. Some 52% of young people have not completed high school.

Economist, goalkeeper, and singer from Argentina

Milei, an economist who worships extreme orthodoxy, was formerly a soccer goalie, a heavy metal singer, and rose to prominence as an explosive protagonist of television discussion shows, has been referred to in this regard. He has just taken his seat on behalf of La Libertad avanza, a political formation that oscillates between the doctrines of Austrian Friedrich Hayek and the rhetoric of Vox. Milei and his followers, including staunch supporters of Argentina’s previous military dictatorship (1976-83), received 17% of the votes in the Argentine capital last November.

Milei isn’t interested in simply raising his voice in Congress. His most visible platforms continue to be television and social media. As if he were a daring croupier, the congressman who wants to blow up the Central Bank has urged society to believe in chance: destiny will knock on the door of some unlucky guy and take his salary.

The government body, the Agency for Access to Public Information (AAIP), has launched an investigation into the contentious sweepstakes for potential violations of personal data protection. Milei’s website, which organizes the sweepstakes, does not give information about the privacy of the information provided by participants: names, surnames, ID number, phone number, and e-mail address.

For the full article, please visit Diario de Ibiza website here.

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