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Spanish minister anticipates 'spectacular' relationship with Macri government

Tuesday, December 1st 2015 - 08:19 UTC
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García-Margallo underlined Spain's president Mariano Rajoy's close relationship with Argentine president elect Macri García-Margallo underlined Spain's president Mariano Rajoy's close relationship with Argentine president elect Macri

Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo became on Sunday the first foreign official to be received by president-elect Mauricio Macri after he won the November 22 runoff election, and announced a new 'spectacular' era is beginning in Madrid’s relations with Argentina.

 During a visit to Buenos Aires, the top-ranking official trumpeted the Spanish government's close relationship with the new administration, especially along economic and financial lines.

“We’re dealing with the need to open and diversify (the economy) and to compete (with other countries)”, García-Margallo said in comments reported by the EFE news agency.

This means countries should learn to cope and live with globalization, without resisting the process, he added. “That’s what populist governments do,” he added.

During a press conference he shared with the country’s incoming Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña, the Spanish official said the visit had a very special symbolism.

“Our relationship with Argentina will go back to its historic levels,” García-Margallo told reporters. “We’ll support negotiations to accelerate a trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur,” the Spanish official said.

He recalled that 400.000 Spaniards live in Argentina and Spanish corporations are the second largest foreign investors in the country with US$ 13 billion.

García Margallo added that former Spanish King Juan Carlos I would be present on December 10 for the swearing-in ceremony of Macri as Argentine president.

It was the first official visit to the country by a Spanish foreign minister since 2007 — save for a brief visit to the country two years ago, when Madrid lost its bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

The Mariano Rajoy official then praised Macri’s “magnificent” team shortly after the Let’s Change leader unveiled a pro-market Cabinet which included a former Shell Argentina CEO and a former JP Morgan executive.

There were clear differences between the outgoing government, more oriented to Latin America, and the incoming administration, closer to the United States and the European Union, he said.

According to Spain’s El País daily, García-Margallo demanded the new government carry out “an economic liberalization plan without fears or complexes” similar to the pro-market reforms undertaken in Spain by the José María Aznar administration. Macri’s Let’s Change coalition shows a political program that is “very similar” to the PP, he said.

“President (sic) Macri and president Rajoy share close relationships.”

Earlier in the day García-Margallo held talks with Alfonso Prat-Gay (tapped by Macri to become his Finance minister) and Francisco Cabrera, who will lead the Production Ministry. The Rajoy administration official said Spanish companies were very much interested in the public works program anticipated by the incoming government.

As part of his intense agenda in Buenos Aires, García-Margallo also met with outgoing Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman. The relationship with Timerman, the Rajoy official told reporters, had been “very intense” and “not always easy,” recalling the 2012 expropriation of the YPF oil company, which was owned by Repsol back then.

“But we managed to keep the relationship afloat,” stressing the complex bond that Madrid had with the Cristina Fernández administration.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Troy Tempest

    So, Tinmam is still in Argentina- thought he would have retired to Iraq by now.

    Dec 01st, 2015 - 09:21 am 0
  • Brasileiro

    Spain has to be ashamed in the face and abandon the euro and the EU and join to Iberian America in the pursuit of complete destruction of the corrupt and speculative values of 5 eyes.

    Dec 01st, 2015 - 09:36 am 0
  • Troy Tempest



    Meant to say “Iran”

    Despite 313bio's assertions, Tinman is not a friend of the Jewish community.

    Dec 01st, 2015 - 09:43 am 0
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