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Milei fires minister for increasing salaries of political appointees amid hardship

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The President of Argentina, Javier Milei, has sacked labor minister Omar Yasin for increasing the salaries of ministers and other senior cabinet officials.

Milei disclosed that it was irresponsible of Mr. Yasin to have done so at a time when the nation was battling a severe economic crisis.

“I’ve fired the labor secretary,” Mr. Milei said in a live broadcast on TV channel LN+ on Monday. Let’s say at this moment they’re notifying him.”

Milei has faced strong criticism from the opposition, which accused him of hypocrisy for earning a 48% pay raise while denouncing parliamentarians for upping their income by 30%.

The president blamed the wage increase on a directive issued by former President Cristina Kircher in 2010, claiming it was automatic. He also reversed the increase.

However, Ms. Kircher defended herself on X, claiming that while she issued the decree 14 years ago, Mr. Milei signed and implemented its payment this year.

“It was revealed that you and your cabinet increased your salary by 48 percent, and you have no better excuse than blaming me for a decree I signed 14 years ago?” she queried Saturday evening on her X account. “Admit that you signed it, cashed it out, and were caught.”

The Argentine leader condemned the salary increase, which he described as “an error” that ought not to have occurred in the first place, and fired Mr. Yasin for it.

“This is an error that should not have been made,” the Argentine president said. “Because, moreover, this was cleared up in January, the consensus of the ministers was that we have to manage with our salaries frozen.”

He emphasized that the increase already paid to officials would be deducted from their next paycheck.

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