Get Up and Walk!

Argentina's new leader imposes a drastic recovery plan

The situation demanded strong words, and President Carlos Saul Menem did not shrink from using them. In his July 8 inaugural address, Menem urged his citizens to "Get up and walk!" Argentina, he declared, "is broken, devastated, razed. Inflation has reached chilling levels, but we aren't going to administer the decline. We will pulverize the crisis."

Just 36 hours after Menem's address, his administration announced the first steps of "unusually severe, exceptional and emergency" measures designed to break the nation's hyperinflation (114% for June alone) and to restore confidence in its virtually insolvent government. Among them: a 90-day wage- and-price freeze,...

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