Argentine President Milei receives award from Madrid and criticises socialism

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public apology demanded from Javier Milei

The Spanish media are abuzz with reports about Argentine President Milei’s visit to Madrid. Milei has once again stirred controversy during his second visit to Spain in a month. The far-right Milei vehemently attacked socialism, which he called a “horrible monster.”

During this second visit to Spain within a month, Milei, accompanied by Madrid President Isabel Díaz Ayuso, was awarded the International Medal of the Community of Madrid. The Argentine took the opportunity to once again fiercely criticise the government of Pedro Sánchez. Spain and Argentina have been in a diplomatic crisis for some time. In a highly economic speech, Milei condemned the “populist socialism,” which he called a “horrible monster.” This is a veiled criticism of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his government’s policies.

Milei’s remarks were more subtle than during his previous visit, when he called Sánchez corrupt, leading to political uproar between Spain and Argentina. This time, he spoke more generally against socialism. According to Milei, Sánchez’s socialist regime has harmful effects on the economy. Under the watchful eye of the conservative Ayuso, the Argentine said, “Do not let socialism ruin your life.”

Milei, the far-right economist who recently became president of Argentina, subtly describes socialism as a danger to society. The Spanish media report on his visit in various terms. The fact is that Milei is stirring emotions. In politically divided Spain, the conservative party PP and the far-right Vox cleverly use his statements in their endless struggle with the socialists.

Lower taxes and less debt

Milei used the opportunity provided by Ayuso to advocate for his successful policies. He believes that the crisis can only be overcome with liberalism and hard work. He praises “the real heroes”: entrepreneurs and businesspeople. The Argentine also mentions the “magic formula” he uses: lowering taxes and avoiding debt. And above all, avoiding social justice. “The virtue of socialism is to create poverty. And social justice is a horrible monster; it is unjust and violent because it violates equality. It takes from one and gives to another,” he emphasised.

In his speech, Milei not only speaks out against socialism but also against the principles of the social and democratic rule of law enshrined in the Spanish constitution. He shows little respect for politicians who allow their economies to incur debt (the public debt of the Community of Madrid exceeds €30 billion). “A heartless and populist politician incurs debt. And today’s party is paid for by the work of the future, by people who are not even born yet.”

Milei’s award Seen as a ‘provocation’ by socialists

Prior to Milei’s speech, Ayuso spoke, highlighting their shared goals: the intention to “place the social market economy at the centre” and “freedom and life as the two most valuable possessions of man.” According to her, this stands in contrast to the “impoverishing collectivism” and the “clientelist networks” of socialist policies.

Outside, two hundred Argentines, both supporters and opponents of Milei, gathered in front of the government headquarters in Madrid, allowing the Argentine president to have an Evita Perón moment as he stepped out onto the balcony.

This time, Milei has no further agenda in Spain. He has no meetings with Sánchez’s government or with King Felipe VI. Not even with the conservative political party PP. Only Ayuso (PP) wanted to give him a recognition that the socialists described as a “provocation.”

Read also: Spain demands public apology after offensive remarks by Milei

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