Javier Milei
Argentine president Javier Milei. AFP

Argentina President Javier Milei on Monday announced he was proud of his plans, as the government successfully took control of excessive public spending in the first quarter, noting this step was key to improving the country's economic prospects.

"Our plan is working," the president said on national television as he addressed the masses, Reuters reported. "I know the situation is difficult but we're more than halfway there."

Milei took over the office in December and promised to implement a "shock" plan to fix the economy, reducing extremely high inflation, improving the economy, and helping people who were struggling with poverty.

The president shared that his administration achieved a surplus of over 275 billion pesos ($315.4 million) last month. This surplus was a milestone, as this was the first time Argentina's government recorded a surplus in the first quarter since 2008, as per the president.

"We're going to give everything to pull this country out of the hell we inherited," he said.

The announcement came just a few days after Milei made an official request to join NATO as a global partner, which, if approved, would lead to more cooperation in politics and security for the South American country. Furthermore, it will also boost ties with Western countries and attract investment in Argentina. To become a NATO member, all 32 NATO members need to agree.

While the president announced a surplus and made efforts to bring more investment into the country, the citizens protested against Milei's budget cuts last week.

Public universities in Argentina protested against Milei's sharp budget cuts by turning off classroom lights to save money on electricity. The University of Buenos Aires reported an 80% reduction in its budget, adding that it was a very difficult situation to manage.

Argentina, the second-largest economy in South America, continues to face high inflation, with an annual rate of 143%. The country has a history of instability due to inflation, fiscal deficits and currency devaluation.

Milei, after taking over the office on Dec. 10, fired 5,000 government employees as a part of cutbacks. However, the president's administration clarified that the contracts of employees, who were hired before 2023, will be renewed.

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