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Spanish Shilling

Some stories and experiences after a lifetime spent in Spain

Anarcho-capitalism Visits the Capital
Wednesday, June 26, 2024 @ 9:52 PM

Argentina is an interesting country. It was – and should be – immensely rich. Indeed, a hundred years ago, it was the seventh wealthiest developed nation in the world. Today, it is bankrupt with inflation running at 280% annually.  

This giant South American state has an interesting president who wants to reverse the economic collapse of his country. One can easily appreciate why that would be a good idea, but perhaps the self-styled anarcho-capitalist Javier Milei is not the best person for this mighty task. He wields a chain-saw in his campaigns – cut taxes and cut services, he says. If you can’t make it till the end of the month, that’s your problem he says.  Social justice is immoral he says. Climate Change is a lie he says. Socialism is a cancer according to Milei, a message which goes down well with the right-wing opposition in Spain (and elsewhere).

Milei was here in May, invited by the Vox leader Santiago Abascal (‘a good friend when I was just a Nobody’, he says). It was a private visit – of sorts – and he didn’t check in with the Government, the foreign ministry or the Royal Palace. He did however remember to insult Pedro Sánchez and his government (and his wife) and it duly caused a diplomatic rift. The Spanish ambassador has been recalled from Buenos Aires and there things stand.

Then, just last week, Milei was back in Madrid to receive a prize from the regional president Isabel Díaz Ayuso (who notably failed to invite Alberto Núñez Feijóo to the bun-fight). The occasion was a medal – the Medalla Internacional de la Comunidad de Madrid – very nice. Other past honourees of this medal include Esperanza Aguirre, motorcycle hero Ángel Nieto and the Movimiento Contra la Intolerancia.

This rather off-centre gesture was evidently another political swipe by Ayuso, who stands on the right of the Partido Popular – a potential candidate who is likely taking votes back from Vox and certainly a more attractive contender for eventual president of Spain than the grey Sr. Feijóo.

On the other hand, the Spanish media noted the behaviour of Ayuso as described by the conservative British Telegraph to be ‘deep disloyalty’ towards her country (and her party) and that she is ‘a far-right firebrand’.  We also learn that a German newspaper, Der Freitag, once called her ‘A Spanish Marine le Pen’.  

A prettier version, I grant you.

Regrettably, in an unfortunate example of friendly fire, Milei spoke to the gathered masses of the president’s companion being under investigation (he meant Pedro Sánchez’ wife, but, confusingly, Díaz Ayuso’s other half, Alberto González Amador, is also under investigation over a number of white-collar crimes).

Unlike Begoña Gómez, he’s probably guilty of all of them.

In short, with one thing and another, it’s all what the Spanish call un culebrón: a soap opera.

While Milei’s experiment with Argentina may turn out to be precisely the medicine that that country needs, unlikely as it may be, his fiddling with European matters of state are causing indignation – even among the core of the Partido Popular which now considers that it has had enough of Ayuso’s evident plotting.

Who else has she got up her sleeve? A genocidal president? A convicted felon?

They remember how she blew out the last PP leader Pablo Casado and they wonder if it could happen again.

‘She’s not just standing up to Pedro Sánchez’, says an opinion piece at LaSexta, ‘she also confronting Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who doesn’t appear to have either the power or the resolve to clip her wings’.

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