June 14. 2024. 2:13

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Madrid demands ‘public apology’ after Argentine president Milei’s remarks

Socialism is “cursed and cancerous” and “invites death”, and the wife of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez (PSOE/S&D) is “corrupt”, Argentina’s President Javier Milei said on Sunday, speaking at the Europa VIVA 24 rally organised by the far-right VOX party (ECR) in Madrid this weekend, which has led Madrid to recall its ambassador in Buenos Aires for consultations.

Milei dismissed the five days of reflection Sánchez took at the end of April to consider whether to stay on or resign after the right-wing Partido Popular (EPP) and VOX, the third force in the Spanish parliament, accused his wife, Begoña Gómez, of influence peddling and corruption.

The controversial Argentine president, a personal friend of VOX leader Santiago Abascal, said that during that period of reflection-after which the Spanish prime minister announced he would remain in office-Sánchez had “soiled himself” politically, EFE reported.

“What a bunch of people (the PSOE and Sánchez) screwed to power. Even when he has a corrupt wife, he gets dirty and takes five days to think about it,” Milei commented.

The Argentine president, who considers himself a “libertarian”, presented himself to thousands of VOX activists and supporters on Sunday as a “humble disseminator of the ideas of freedom” while urging Spanish society – and the rest of the world – to say “enough of the damned and cancerous socialism”.

“We can never give in to anything, we can never let ourselves be pushed back a millimetre by the ‘lefties’, because although it seems that they are right, they are never right, they take advantage of the weakest, of those who have not earned the abundance they enjoy and want to use us to solve their situation,” Milei said at the event, which, according to VOX sources, was attended by 29,300 people over the weekend.

On the other hand, he encouraged the “cultural battle”, which “is also necessary from the point of view of a government, so that the policies that are implemented are lasting, and that in the future it is the citizens who defend their freedom and do not allow themselves to be trampled on by the socialists”, who in his country (for example in North Korea or Cuba, for example) “even control football”, he stressed.

“Let us return to defending the values that made the West great: life, liberty and property,” Milei concluded.

Brewing diplomatic crisis between Argentina and Spain

In response to Milei’s harsh words, Spain has recalled its ambassador in Buenos Aires, María Jesús Alonso, for consultations.

The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares (PSOE/S&D), demanded a “public apology” from Milei on Sunday for what he considers to be “extremely serious” remarks. If they are not forthcoming, he announced that Spain will take the “appropriate measures” to defend its “sovereignty and dignity.”

The minister pointed out that Milei’s words “transcend any kind of political and ideological difference” and “are unprecedented in the history of international relations and even less so in the history of relations between two countries and two peoples united by strong ties of brotherhood”.

Furthermore, PSOE also on Sunday called on the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, for “a clear and forceful condemnation” of the Argentine president’s words about Pedro Sánchez’s wife.

In a statement, the PSOE pointed to the “seriousness” of Milei’s words and stressed that this should provoke “an immediate reaction from all political parties ”.

“The hate speech of the “international ultra” cannot go unpunished,” said the PSOE.

In this sense, the Socialist Party recalled that the PP has a double responsibility to condemn the verbal attacks against Begoña Gómez and against the Spanish prime minister, as it is the coalition partner of VOX in many regions and municipalities of the country.

The leader of the S&D group in the European Parliament, Iratxe García, described Milei’s insults as dangerous for democracy.

“Insulting and spitting hatred at our President is a totally unacceptable attack. Crossing the boundaries by endangering our Democracy deserves a firm and forceful response,” she said on X.

The PSOE’s lead candidate for the EU elections, Teresa Ribera, also commented on the matter on X: “The response to insults and lies should be respectful but firm and democratic.”

(Fernando Heller | EuroEFE.Euractiv.es)

Read more with Euractiv

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