Spain permanently recalls ambassador from Argentina amid feud with Milei

Last Updated: June 16, 2024By

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Spain and Argentina Clash: A Diplomatic Showdown

Spain is pulling its ambassador out of Argentina for good. This comes after a huge fight with Argentina’s radical right-wing president, Javier Milei.

The Spark

It all started when Milei, who is known for his fiery speeches and strong opinions, made a nasty comment about Begoña Gómez, the wife of Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez. He hinted that she was “corrupt,” and this caused a big uproar.

Spain’s center-left government was furious. They called Milei’s comment a “direct attack” on their democracy and demanded he apologize. But Milei, instead of backing down, said he was the one being attacked and had no plans to apologize.

The Response

Spain’s foreign minister, José Manuel Albares, decided to take action. On Tuesday, he announced that their ambassador to Argentina, María Jesús Alonso Jiménez, who had been called back to Spain the day before, would not be going back to Buenos Aires. “The ambassador will stay in Madrid permanently. Argentina will be without a Spanish ambassador,” Albares said, according to El País, a Spanish newspaper.

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Milei quickly responded, calling the move “nonsense” and accused Albares of being an “arrogant socialist.” However, he said he wouldn’t make the same mistake by pulling Argentina’s ambassador from Spain.

The Political Fallout

Spain’s conservative opposition party, the People’s Party (PP), criticized Prime Minister Sánchez, accusing him of overreacting and using the situation for political gain ahead of the European elections in June. They argued that Sánchez was making things difficult for Spanish companies in Argentina. “Foreign policy shouldn’t be driven by one person’s whims,” said a PP source.

They pointed out that Spain didn’t withdraw its ambassador from Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, yet they’re doing it now over Milei’s insult. The PP thinks this shows Sánchez is acting out of personal spite.

A Bigger Picture

This clash is part of a larger battle between progressive and hard-right political forces worldwide. Milei, along with leaders like Hungary’s Viktor Orbán and El Salvador’s Nayib Bukele, is part of this hard-right group.

Milei, a former TV personality who calls himself an “anarcho-capitalist,” was elected last November. His victory was celebrated by Donald Trump, who praised his efforts to “Make Argentina Great Again,” and by Nigel Farage, who admired Milei’s plan to implement “Thatcherism on steroids.” Even Liz Truss, who had a short stint as the UK’s prime minister, called Milei one of her “favorites.”

Reactions and Accusations

Left-wing parties in Europe and South America have criticized Milei’s extreme economic ideas and his recent attack on Gómez. Brazil’s Worker’s Party, led by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, called Milei’s remarks about Gómez and Sánchez “pathetic” and part of a broader ultra-conservative effort to destabilize politics and undermine democracy.

On the other hand, Milei’s spokesperson, Manuel Adorni, defended Milei. He accused Sánchez’s government of starting the feud with unfounded accusations against Milei. For example, in May, Spain’s transport minister, Óscar Puente, claimed Milei had used substances during his campaign, a claim he later retracted, admitting it was a “big mistake.”

Adorni tweeted that Milei had been called a hater, a denier, and worse. He hoped the Spanish government would eventually apologize sincerely.

This situation shows how global politics are becoming more divided, with clashes not just within countries but also between them.

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