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WORLD | 24-06-2024 11:58

German Chancellor Scholz reminds Milei to maintain ‘social cohesion’

President Javier Milei reminded of the importance of maintaining “social cohesion” during brief working visit with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reminded President Javier Milei of the importance of maintaining “social cohesion” during his effort to redesign Argentina’s economy and tackle inflation during a meeting between the two leaders.

The warning came as Milei was met by a small protest by expat Argentines during a brief two-day visit to Germany, during which he met with Scholz and accepted an award from the neoliberal Augusto von Hayek Foundation in Hamburg.

Accompanied by his sister, presidential chief-of-staff Karina Milei, Argentina’s President was received at the German Chancellery in Berlin by Scholz, a social democrat, in a reception that was scaled down at the Casa Rosada’s request.

There was no press conference after the meeting, as the German government had announced on Friday, which was presented as a "very brief" working visit.

Milei’s chief spokesperson, Manuel Adorni, said in a statement that the two leaders discussed Argentina’s new direction under its new president and  “the importance of having critical minerals” — a reference to the South American nation’s lithium reserves. 

“The meeting between President Milei and Chancellor Scholz and their teams showed two leaders with a convergent vision, with the same principles and values in international politics and focused on solving key geopolitical challenges for the West,” said Adorni in the statement.

The German government said that Scholz and Milei had "discussed Argentina's reform plans and their impact on the population.”

"The Chancellor emphasised that, in his opinion, social compatibility and the protection of social cohesion should be important pillars," a statement added.

The German government also said the talks covered "the full range of bilateral relations," including trade, renewable energy and climate protection.

Speaking in a radio interview from Prague, where he was visiting Czechia before returning to Buenos Aires, Milei said that he had shared a “very positive meeting” with Scholz, who “asked us about how the economic programme was working, given that he has an important weight within the International Monetary Fund, about what the prospects for the future were.”

"We were also talking about some of the problems that German companies had in Argentina and how we were making progress in solving these problems,” he revealed.

“We addressed issues regarding natural resources of extreme importance to Germany and that would be motivating many investments in Argentina and we were discussing Argentina's entry into the OECD [Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development] and NATO and what has to do in the sense of integration between Mercosur and the European economic community," the head of state said in an interview with Radio Mitre.

Scholz reiterated German support for Argentina’s OECD bid, and reiterated his desire that the long-stalled free-trade deal between the Mercosur and the European Union be “finalised quickly,” the Chancellery in Berlin added.

 

– TIMES/AFP/NA

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