Argentine President Trashes Spanish PM’s Wife in Diplomatic Fiasco

Cesar Luis de Luca/picture alliance via Getty
Cesar Luis de Luca/picture alliance via Getty

The government of Spain has recalled its ambassador in Buenos Aires after Argentine President Javier Milei publicly lambasted the wife of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Speaking to a crowd at a right-wing rally in Madrid this weekend, the right-wing president took aim at Spain’s first lady, Begona Gomez, who has been at the center of a messy corruption scandal involving alleged influence peddling.

“The global elites don’t realize how destructive it can be to implement the ideas of socialism,” Milei said on Sunday. “Even if you have a corrupt wife, let’s say, it gets dirty, and you take five days to think about it,” he added, referring to the five-day break the socialist Spanish prime minister took from his duties in the aftermath of the scandal.

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Spanish officials did not take well to Milei’s remarks, with Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares vowing to “explain to him the gravity” of his offenses and demanding the Argentinian president apologize for the derogatory remarks.

“There is no precedent for a head of state who goes to another country's capital to insult its institutions and flagrantly interfere in its internal affairs,” Albares said, adding in a video statement that “Milei has brought the relationship between Spain and Argentina to its most serious state in recent history” with his behavior.

But no apology was made, and Milei instead doubled down on his remarks in comments to local media this week. “I am not going to apologize from any point of view,” he told the Argentine network Todo Noticias.

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Spain’s decision to “indefinitely” recall its ambassador to Argentina comes after Prime Minister Sanchez threatened to resign over “serious and coarse” attacks against his wife by right-wing officials in the country. The first lady has not been charged in the probe, which was launched by Spain’s conservative Vox party. A federal prosecutor has since argued that the case should be tossed for lack of evidence

“Most of the time we forget that politicians are people,” Sanchez said in a public letter after returning to his prime ministerial duties last month. “And I do not blush to say it, but I am a man who is deeply in love with my wife, who is living with the feeling of impotence while being pelted with mud.”

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