BUENOS AIRES – Argentine President Mauricio Macri announced on Monday a 25 percent reduction in political positions in the executive branch of government and the freezing of salaries of civil servants, and at the same time will ban any of the ministers’ family members from holding government positions.
In an event at the Casa Rosada, seat of the presidency in Buenos Aires, Macri said the dismissal of what will be around 1,000 government employees – “one out of every four” – will save the government 1.5 billion pesos (some $75 million) a year.
He also said that this year there will be no salary negotiations for government staff “with politically assigned positions” in the national administration, which means no pay raises.
Macri also said that in the coming days he will sign a decree to the effect that no Argentine minister can have family members in the government.
“I know that with this measure we’re going to lose some very valuable collaborators and I feel bad about that. But we always said that we want to make the country more transparent,” he said.
The president noted that when he came to power in December 2015, the government was a “bureaucratic mess” with a structure that was “too vertical,” which made it hard to take decisions and “it took too much time” to execute them.
His response to that situation, he said, will be to impose new structures that will help have a government that is “more agile, more helpful, and better prepared to manage and improve the problems our people have.”
“We’re transforming ourselves to grow and really become the generation that changes Argentina forever,” Macri said, adding that governments around the world are realizing “we’re serious about this change.”