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The president shuts down the government news agency

Argentine President Javier Miley ordered the closure of the country's official news agency.  Archive photo.

The Argentine government, on behalf of President Javier Miley, shut down the state news agency Telam – according to the president, “the propaganda mouthpiece of previous leftist governments.”

The 79-year-old news agency is the latest victim of Miley's campaign to shut down state institutions since he took office in December.

Agustín Lecce, of the Buenos Aires Journalists Association, told a local radio station that they were notified of the closure on Sunday evening, and that employees were prevented from entering the building when they arrived for work on Monday morning. The news agency's website is also down.

Telam, with just over 700 employees, publishes more than 500 national news articles and 200 photos daily, as well as video and radio material.

Presidential spokesman Manuel Adorni said the government informed all employees that they would be laid off for seven days and their wages retained “while progress is made to close the agency.”

Miley announced his intention to close the news agency in a speech he delivered on Friday, during the opening of Congress. He said it had been “used for decades as a propaganda agency for Kirchner,” referring to the left-wing political ideology of former President Cristina Kirchner and her husband.