Diplomatic relations between Spain and Argentina cooled due to poorly received statements

Diplomatic relations between Spain and Argentina cooled due to poorly received statements
Diplomatic relations between Spain and Argentina cooled due to poorly received statements

The relationship between Argentina and Spain goes back centuries. Spain colonized Argentina from the 16th to the 19th century, and after Argentina’s independence the two countries continued to have close ties. However, in recent years, relations between the two countries have cooled, especially since Argentine President Javier Milei took power in December 2023. Recently, statements by a Spanish minister have caused a diplomatic row.

The tensions between the government of Pedro Sánchez and Javier Milei reached a peak this weekend, but these tensions have been going on for some time and became clear with the transfer of power in December last year. On that occasion, King Felipe VI traveled on behalf of Spain, without President Sánchez or any minister accompanying him. It was a sign of mutual dislike. Milei sees Sánchez’s Spain as a socialist country that is against freedom, while the Spanish government is distancing itself from him, as they did with Bolsonaro or Trump.

The words of Transport Minister Óscar Puente have added fuel to the fire. Puente suggested that Milei had made statements in a questionable state during his election campaign. These comments sparked a strong response from Milei’s team, who dismissed the allegations as slander and libel and attacked Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, for focusing on personal issues surrounding his wife rather than state affairs.

Óscar Puente said in an interview with the newspaper El País that Milei “may have been under the influence of substances” when he made certain statements during his election campaign. These statements were widely picked up by the Spanish media and caused outrage in Argentina. The Argentine government demanded an apology from Puente and the Spanish government, which distanced itself from the minister’s statements. However, Puente refused to apologize, saying he had “only spoken the truth.”

Puente’s statements have further deteriorated relations between Argentina and Spain. The two countries already have a tense relationship due to the different political positions of their governments. Puente’s statements have only increased these tensions. It is unclear how the two countries can repair their relationship after this latest controversy.

Javier Milei will attend an event in Madrid on May 18, organized by the far-right party Vox, at the invitation of the party’s leader, Santiago Abascal. It is notable that there is a close bond between Abascal and Milei, as Milei accompanied the Argentine leader at his inauguration on December 10. No visits are planned to the Spanish government and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez or to the royal family.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Diplomatic relations Spain Argentina cooled due poorly received statements


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