Milei rails against socialism, criticizes Sánchez again in Spain

The Spanish government called Milei’s decision to shun top officials during his trip a ‘deviation from expected diplomatic norms’

Argentine President Javier Milei continued his ongoing feud with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Friday in Madrid. In a speech railing against socialism, Milei accused Sánchez of either not understanding economics or using the state’s power to “overrun people.”

“[Friedrich] Hayek said that if socialists understood economy, they wouldn’t be socialists […] Mr. Sánchez seems to be one of the exceptions because, despite having studied economics, either he doesn´t understand this or he enjoys the state’s power to overrun people,” Milei said. Sánchez belongs to the Spanish Socialist Party. 

Milei spoke after receiving the Madrid Community International Medal from community president Isabel Díaz Ayuso, leader of the conservative People’s Party and one of the most vocal critics of the Spanish prime minister.

The Argentine president’s visit to Spain comes on the heels of a diplomatic spat he started in May after he called Sánchez’s wife “corrupt” at a far-right political convention in Madrid. The Spanish government demanded an apology and, after it was denied, withdrew its ambassador to Argentina. 

During his speech, the Argentine president also defended his administration, claiming the economy is starting to turn the corner. “We are already seeing the fruits of our work after going through the worst of it in the first trimester; indicators are beginning to show positive signs,” he claimed.

Milei said he “came from the future” to warn of “a story [Spain] should wish to avoid,” claiming Argentina was once the richest country in the world and was impoverished by decades of socialism. 

“Madrid is beautiful; don’t let socialism ruin your life.” 

He also argued that “businessmen and entrepreneurs are the real heroes” and that “socialism is based on envy, resentment, unequal treatment before the law and, if necessary, murder.”

Díaz Ayuso lauded the libertarian economist, saying that “Argentina is now appearing on the international map as it hadn’t in years.” She congratulated Milei on leading with “strength and courage” the “hundreds of Argentines that attended to watch him up close.”

Milei’s current visit to Spain is part of a European tour that will also see him travel to Germany and Czechia.

The Spanish government showed its disapproval

Spain’s Foreign Ministry expressed strong disapproval on Thursday at what it called Argentine President Javier Milei’s “deviation from expected diplomatic norms” in deciding to shun top government officials during his visit.

“It is surprising and anomalous that a foreign president does not request, in any of his first visits to Spain, an institutional meeting with his counterpart, as all heads of state in the world do,” the ministry said in a statement.

“This highlights a deviation from expected diplomatic norms and suggests a lack of priority for formal state relations,” it added. It expressed hope that Milei would respect Spanish institutions on this visit, refrain from gestures seen as rude in Madrid and align his actions with “the historical and fraternal bond between the two countries.”



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