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Montevideo, July 13th 2024 - 21:38 UTC



Milei discusses Mercosur and OECD with Scholz

Monday, June 24th 2024 - 09:11 UTC
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Scholz asked Milei to consider the “social compatibility” of the reforms implemented in Argentina Scholz asked Milei to consider the “social compatibility” of the reforms implemented in Argentina

Argentine President Javier Milei met this weekend in Berlin with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in what became his first encounter with a foreign leader not akin to his rightwing philosophy. Nevertheless, both leaders discussed the trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur and Argentina's bid to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

In their one-hour sitdown, Scholz asked Milei to consider the “social compatibility” of the reforms implemented in Argentina. “The Chancellor and President Milei talked about the Argentine reform intentions and their repercussions for the population. In this regard, the chancellor stressed that, from his point of view, the social compatibility of the reforms and the protection of social cohesion should be important criteria,” the German government said in a statement.

It was “a very short working meeting, at the wish of the Argentine President,” Scholz's Spokesman Steffen Hebestreit explained. The leaders of Germany and Argentina also discussed the negotiations for a trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur, in addition to Argentina's bid to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

According to analysts consulted in Buenos Aires by MercoPress, the most plausible reason for Milei meeting with the Social Democrat Scholz was that an encounter between two heads of government would qualify as a State trip. Otherwise, all Milei did in Europe was collect medals of a personal nature while traveling on the Presidential aircraft and billing his expenses to Casa Rosada.

Before Berlin, Milei had been welcomed in Hamburg by the Hayek Society, which granted him yet another accolade following the ones he had picked up last week in Madrid. He was also not so welcomed by scores of leftwing demonstrators chanting things such as “No to Milei in Hamburg, no to Milei in Germany! We don't want them! Out with Milei! They will not pass, they will not pass!; Milei, garbage, you are the dictatorship!; Milei, fascist, you are the terrorist!; Freedom, freedom to the prisoners for fighting!.” But none of this deterred Milei, who recapped his road to the Argentine Presidency in a message lasting about one hour.

“We found an economy basically destroyed, but we never cried or regretted what we found because, it must also be said that the conditions under which a libertarian liberal -the characteristics I have- would become president, it was obvious that it was not going to be a garden of Eden,” said Milei while highlighting that under him inflation had dropped from 17,000% to 50%. According to Milei, La Libertad Avanza has not only won the cultural battle in Argentina which enraged socialists because their “lie is falling down.”

“Despite all the obstacles, the attacks, [and] all the destabilization attempts we have received, we are coming out, we are being successful,” Milei insisted.

Hayek Society President Stefan Kooths praised Milei as an ambitious reformer in the spirit of Hayek and the Austrian school of economics. “With his liberal economic and socio-political program, he addresses the central problems of his once prosperous, corruption-plagued country, where a state-run economy, excessive debt, and a broken currency have prevented prosperous development,” Kooth said.

“With its clear vision of the power of a market economy, Argentina has the opportunity to break with the interventionism of the past and rebuild the foundations of freedom, prosperity, and social peace. In doing so, it offers the world a shining example of the power of liberal ideas in a democratic community, especially in times of great need,” the Hayek Foundation stressed while praising Milei's “fearless” defense of individual self-determination and free markets.

Milei's mileage accruing spree is expected to continue in France at the opening of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games during which he will try to hold a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. He is also planning a trip to China to sign with Xi Jinping the renewal of the currency swap.

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