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Javier Milei in Rome, Pope and Italian PM receive their Argentinian friend

Javier Milei in Rome, Pope and Italian PM receive their Argentinian friend
Photo : Vatican Media

Javier Milei, the newly elected president of Argentina, is currently visiting Italy. Milei, who took office in December 2023, immediately jumped to the attention of the world press for his decisiveness and bombastic statements about the change of course in Argentine policy, which was immediately moved away from the BRICS and back into the Atlanticist orbit.

Milei, described by some journalists as an extreme right-wing politician, has made fighting Argentina’s economic crisis his trademark, announcing from the beginning of his term, hard times for the people of Argentina. An arch enemy of state intervention in the economy, he has repeatedly declared that social inequalities represent something natural and that the state government has no ethical duty about reducing them. A politician and stage animal, he had not hesitated in the past to make vitriolic statements, such as when he said that Al Capone, the famous Italian-American boss, was to be considered a “hero and social benefactor.”

Upon arrival in Italy, he has already attracted media attention for refusing to stay at the residences of the Argentine Embassy in Rome, preferring instead to stay in a luxury hotel on Rome’s famous Via Veneto. On the morning of Feb. 13, he was received at the Vatican by the pope, in an interview described by the Italian press as “unusually long.” According to the Vatican spokesman’s statement, during the talks the two Argentines also discussed the domestic policies Milei wants to adopt and Argentina’s geopolitical position with respect to ongoing conflicts.

Published photos show hugs and smiles between Javier Milei and Pope Francis, yet Milei himself on the campaign trail had referred to the pontiff as “the devil on earth.” The Vatican downplayed this, replying that Pope Francis is not wont to take offense at this kind of thing, understanding that it was “a campaign strategy, which is part of a marketing strategy.”

However, it is hard not to remember the position Pope Francis took regarding the conflict in Ukraine, the Pope publicly kissing a Ukrainian flag and calling ethnic Russian soldiers from Chechnya or Buriati as “the cruelest.”

After the stop at the Vatican, the Argentine president left for the Quirinale, where he was received by Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, with whom he also talked about cooperation between Mercosur and the European Union. Of course, after Mieli’s cancellation of Argentina’s membership in the BRICS, which it was to join from 2024, Argentina’s new president misses no opportunity to strengthen relations with Western partners.

This was followed by a meeting with Giorgia Meloni, which the Argentine side described as “positive and cordial.” The meeting with Giorgia Meloni seems to have galvanized Milei, who on social X, formerly Twitter, began publishing a series of posts regarding the creation of an “international anti-communist bloc.” In addition to attacks on an alleged communist reality, probably referring to Russia, still seen as the Soviet Union by supporters of a new Cold War mood, the Argentine president spoke of “a strategic alliance between Argentina and Italy, led by Milei and Meloni, around a common worldview and philosophy, will be decisive for the defense of the West,” associating photos of the meeting with Giorgia Meloni with these posts.

Andrea Lucidi

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1 Comment


    Ces derniers jours (je ne retrouve pas le jour précis), le Pape a proposer à “kiki de Kiev” de – se rendre, ou signer un cessez le feu . Ce que le “pianiste” à refusé, comme par hasard !

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