He is single, with no children, and very few trusted friends. But Javier Milei, who as of this Sunday will be president of Argentina, has three key women in his innermost circle: his sister, his vice-president and his girlfriend.
Karina Milei, his little sister whom the new head of state calls "The Boss," is the most important person in his life, according to Milei himself.
“What would I do today if it were my last day? I’d be with my children: Conan, Murray, Milton, Robert and Lucas. I’d be with my sister, who’s an exceptional human being,” he wrote in his book Javier Milei. El camino del libertario ("Javier Milei. The libertarian’s road").
Karina Milei studied marketing and communication at the University of Belgrano, and Public Relations at the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa. She also took a course in baking and pastries.
Throughout her life, she has always been there for the president-elect, whether when he practised football as a child, when he sang in a rock band as a teenager or starred as an adult at economics conferences.
“I won the lottery with Kari. She’s the protector. She’s the one who's most responsible for this. I’m the disseminator,” Milei once said in a TV interview.
Always in the background, but taking care that her long blonde hair is noticed behind his brother, Karina Milei is acknowledged as an undisputed authority at La Libertad Avanza. Nothing can be done without her approval.
Within the government to be inaugurated on December 10, she is expected to be the president’s general-secretary. Her official position has not yet been confirmed.
Aged 51 and also single, until now she has lived alone with her pet Aarón. “No, I didn’t have children, and neither did Javier. We only had dog children,” she said in 2022.
Opposed to feminism and “the way it’s being carried out,” she is against abortion, which was legalised in Argentina in 2020. Regarding same-sex marriage, she believes “the important thing is for people to be happy. As long as they don’t bother others, everyone is free to be happy in their own way."
Victoria Villarruel, a 48-year-old lawyer, has been Milei’s political partner since day one. Conservative, she grew up in a military family and for many years has run an association dedicated to the victims of terrorism during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship. She fights against society's consensus on the dark era, particularly questioning the figure of 30,000 disappeared estimated by human rights groups.
Nicknamed the “iron lady” by some, Villarruel has been there at nearly every rally of Milei's marathonic political career. They were elected deputies together in 2021, the first two on the list of their new group La Libertad Avanza. Barely two years later, they are getting ready to be sworn-in as president and vice-president.
“He’s more rock ‘n roll. I’m the classic conservative girl. Great! Everybody loves this couple!” said Villarruel in a favourable documentary named Javier Milei, la revolución liberal ("Javier Milei, the liberal revolution").
Juan Luis González, the author of the unauthorised biography El loco. La vida desconocida de Javier Milei y su irrupción en la política argentina ("The madman: the unknown life of Javier Milei and his emergence in Argentine politics"), describes her as an important ally, one who opened the doors of international relations, especially to the leaders of the far-right Spanish party Vox.
“Villarruel has always intended to walk alongside Milei, not behind him,” said González.
The vice-president-elect is divorced and has no children.
Fátima Flórez, a glamorous 42-year-old actress, has been Milei's girlfriend for a few months now. The pair met on the set of a television show.
“We’re happy, we’re good for each other. We don’t live together, but we spend many hours together,” said Florez to Mirtha Legrand, on whose programme she met Milei. “We’re boyfriend and girlfriend, for the time being,” he confirmed.
It still remains unclear whether Flórez will be the first lady, or whether that role will be played by Karina Milei, as incoming La Libertad Avanza deputy Lilia Lemoine recently suggested.
For now, both have stated that she will perform her show in the Mar del Plata holiday season, between January and February, as normal, precisely as the first months of Milei’s Presidency get underway.
“She has built her artistic career based on a lot of work. She has to continue it because it’s what she’s chosen for her life,” Milei said.
Her speciality is impersonation. And one of the public’s favourites is her impression of former president and outgoing vice-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
For more than 20 years, she was the partner of theatre producer Norberto Marcos, with whom she broke up early this year. She also has no children.
Milei was also previously in a relationship with singer Daniela Mori in 2018.
by Nina Negrón, AFP