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ARGENTINA | 21-06-2024 18:56

Milei arrives in Madrid, fires off new attack at Spanish PM Sánchez

President Javier Milei lands in Madrid ahead of award ceremony put on by neo-liberal institute; La Libertad Avanza leader fires off new criticism of PM Pedro Sánchez and warns Spaniards of the "risk of socialism."

President Javier Milei on Friday renewed his attack on Spain's socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez during a visit to Madrid to receive an award from a right-wing institute.

Milei's last visit to Spain last month sparked a diplomatic row that saw Madrid withdraw its ambassador to Argentina after the president said Sánchez had "a corrupt wife" – a reference to First Lady Begoña Gómez, who is under investigation for influence-peddling.

Ahead of his latest visit, Spain earlier this week urged Milei "to show respect at all times for the institutions of this country and for the Spanish people."

Milei, a self-declared "anarcho-capitalist," travelled to Madrid to receive an award from the neo-liberal Juan de Mariana Institute for his "exemplary defence of the ideas of freedom."

He also met with Isabel Díaz Ayuso, a right-wing politician and regional president of Madrid who also presented Milei with an honorary medal.

Accepting the medal, Milei lashed out at socialism, which generates "poverty" and "is based on jealousy, on hatred, on resentment, on unequal treatment before the law."

He also berated economist Sánchez who "evidently, despite having studied economics, either he didn't understand it or he loves the state."

Milei warned Spaniards about the "risk you have before you."

"Don't let socialism ruin your lives," he added.

Ayuso thanked Milei for his visit and praised inflation-ravaged Argentina for "coming back strongly" under his leadership and policies that "sound like fresh air in the whole American continent, but also in Europe."

Milei's austerity measures since taking office in December have seen inflation slow but economic activity has plummeted while poverty and unemployment have risen.

The government slammed Ayuso, a vocal critic of Sánchez, for hosting Milei, who once again met neither the prime minister nor King Felipe VI on his visit.

"You can very clearly see what is [Ayuso's] concept of institutionality, loyalty and patriotism," government spokeswoman Pilar Aegria told the Antena 3 television channel.

Milei is to travel this weekend to Germany to meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz, although he will not be afforded any special honours and no press conference will be held after the talks.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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