July 15. 2024. 7:30

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Spain’s radical left blasts Madrid regional president for honouring Argentina’s Milei

The Spanish left lashed out at Madrid Regional President Isabel Díaz Ayuso of the right-wing Partido Popular (PP/EPP) on Thursday for honouring Argentine President Javier Milei with the International Medal of the Madrid Community, accusing her of being “disloyal” and only trying to “annoy” the progressive government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

On Thursday, Patxi López, spokesman for the ruling Socialist Party (PSOE/S&D) in parliament, expressed doubts that Díaz Ayuso wanted to decorate Milei because of Madrid’s “intense love for the Argentine people” while expressing his conviction that she was only doing it “to annoy the government”, Euractiv’s partner EFE reported.

The people of Madrid “do not deserve someone – like Ayuso – who governs (the region) just to hump,” López added.

Meanwhile, the leader of the radical left party Más Madrid, Spanish Health Minister Mónica García, called the meeting between Milei and Díaz Ayuso “institutional disloyalty”.

“This is what Mrs Ayuso is doing. There is nothing new under the sun from the president of the Comunidad de Madrid,” said García, referring to the regional president, who many analysts see as a potential candidate to lead the PP at the national level in the medium term.

For his part, Regional Policy and Democratic Memory Minister Ángel Víctor Torres said on Thursday that it was “an absolute anomaly” for a president of a Spanish region (Madrid) to receive a head of government from another country.

In an attempt to defuse the controversy, sources in the Madrid government argued on Thursday that its decision to award the International Medal to Milei was aimed at recognising Argentina’s “historical, cultural, linguistic and economic ties” with the region.

In a statement, the Madrid government recalled that “48,000 Argentine citizens currently live in the region”, that “there are 72 companies from this country in Spain, 36 of which are located in Madrid”, and that the Spanish capital receives “97% of the Argentinean investments that come to Spain”.

Milei’s second visit to Spain comes just a few weeks after he attended a pre-European elections campaign rally for the far-right VOX party, the third largest in parliament, at the end of May, during which the “libertarian” president called Sánchez’s wife “corrupt”, sparking a serious diplomatic row between Buenos Aires and Madrid.

VOX parliamentary spokeswoman Pepa Millán defended Milei’s award on Thursday after the “unjustified attacks” he received from the government for denouncing the corruption that “surrounds the PSOE and the president’s inner circle”, she stressed.

(Fernando Heller | EuroEFE.Euractiv.es)

Read more with Euractiv

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