Argentina’s Milei meets international guests on the eve of inauguration

Buenos Aires, Dec 9 (EFE).- Argentina’s president-elect Javier Milei on Saturday met with international leaders and delegations on the eve of his inauguration, getting a taste of what is to come as head of state.

Far-right libertarian economist Milei will be president of the South American country for the period 2023-2027, having won the runoff election on Nov. 19.

With the arrival in Buenos Aires of various international representations, both official and those invited by Milei’s far-right party La Libertad Avanza, his agenda moved for a good part of the day from the Hotel Libertador, where he has lived for two months and has his office, to the foreign ministry.

The San Martín Palace, headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship, became the scene of several high-level meetings whose hosts were Milei and his designated chancellor, Diana Mondino.

One of the most notable meetings he had was with King Felipe VI of Spain. Argentina hosts half a million of the 2.5 million Spaniards who live abroad.

In a meeting described as “very pleasant” by both parties, the pair discussed their bilateral relationship and the many interests that Spanish companies have in the South American country.

Shortly before the arrival of Felipe VI, Milei told the Spanish press stationed at the entrance that they would talk “about the situation in Argentina and Spain and the ties that unite us, and try to deepen them.”

After the meeting, Mondino confirmed that relations between both countries “have always” been and will continue to be “fraternal.”

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has not congratulated the libertarian economist on his victory.

At the foreign ministry, Milei also met with the United States delegation led by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, and later with Armenian President Vahagn Jachaturyan.

In addition, Paraguay President Santiago Peña, visited Milei at his hotel and gave him a 60-stripe para’i poncho made by “beautiful artisans from the Paraguayan town of Piribebuy,” a garment that recently entered Unesco’s list of intangible cultural heritage, and which Milei tried on.

Beyond the purely institutional meetings, Milei had a “dear reunion” with Santiago Abascal, the leader of the Spanish far-right party Vox, as he wrote on his social networks.

After collaborating closely for more than three years, as indicated by sources from the party, Milei invited the Spanish politician to participate in his inauguration, as he did with far-right former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, whom he saw the previous day.

Along the same ideological lines, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban held meetings with Abascal and also with Bolsonaro.

Milei’s inauguration brings together leaders of the extreme right and of libertarian values who see in the Argentinian the beginning of a wave in the region and other parts of the world.

Meanwhile, Buenos Aires was decorated for the inauguration and thus, in the surroundings of the National Congress, where the official ceremony will take place from midday (15:00 GMT), screens and security fences were erected.

Following the oaths of the vice president-elect, Victoria Villarruel, and the president-elect, and the delivery of presidential attributes from Alberto Fernández to Milei, the new leader will give a speech to citizens, having decided not to make the usual speech before the Legislative Assembly.

Later, at 2 pm, the new presidential team and Chancellor Mondino will greet the foreign delegations in the White Room of the Casa Rosada (seat of government).

From 5:30 pm (20:30 GMT), the swearing-in ceremony for cabinet ministers will take place, as well as an inter-religious ceremony at the Metropolitan Cathedral, while a special performance at the Teatro Colón will close the day. EFE


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