14th June 2024
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Spain withdraws ambassador to Argentina ‘definitively’, as Milei refuses to apologise

Spain will now ‘definitively’ withdraw its ambassador to Argentina after President Javier Milei refused to apologise for calling Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s wife ‘corrupt’, Spain’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Spain withdrew its ambassador to Argentina at the weekend and Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said that the envoy ‘will remain definitively in Madrid. Argentina will no longer have a Spanish ambassador’.

Milei responded angrily to the move, saying the withdrawal was ‘nonsense typical of an arrogant socialist’.

‘Socialists are capable of doing anything,’ he added.

Argentina’s outspoken president caused outrage with an attack on socialism at the weekend while at a Madrid conference organised by the far-right Vox party. ALSO READ: Spain recalls ambassador after Argentina’s Milei calls Sánchez’s wife ‘corrupt’.

‘The global elites don’t realise how destructive it can be to implement the ideas of socialism,’ Milei said. ‘They don’t know the type of society and country that can produce, the type of people clinging to power and the level of abuse that generates.’

He added: ‘When you have a corrupt wife, let’s say, it gets dirty, and you take five days to think about it.’

Prime Minister Sánchez, leader of the PSOE socialist party, recently considered resigning after Spanish prosecutors opened a preliminary corruption investigation against his wife, Begoña Gómez, which was quickly closed. ALSO READ: Pedro Sánchez announces his decision to continue as Spanish prime minister.

Within hours of Milei’s attack, Spain recalled its ambassador and Albares slammed the visiting president’s ‘insult’.

He demanded a ‘public apology’ from Milei, saying that Madrid would not exclude the possibility of rupturing diplomatic ties. Sánchez also called on Milei to retract his comments.

However, the Argentina government slammed what it called ‘flashy and impulsive threats’ and insisted that Sánchez’s government should apologise.

Milei, a self-declared ‘anarcho-capitalist’, won elections last November with a vow to cut Argentina’s vast public debt to zero. He has instituted an austerity programme that has seen the government slash public subsidies.

But he has also become known for his controversial remarks.

There has been weeks of rising diplomatic tensions between Spain and Argentina leading up to the latest spat. Spain’s Transport Minister Oscar Puente last month inferred that Milei took drugs. ALSO READ: Spain and Argentina in diplomatic spat.

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