Billionaire businessman Eduardo Eurnekian has criticised La Libertad Avanza presidential candidate Javier Milei in a rare interview, condemning the libertarian lawmakers comments about Pope Francis.
Eurnekian, 90, declared that the “Pope is Argentine and is a source of pride" during an interview with journalist Jorge Fontevecchia on Radio Perfil (AM 1190) and Radio Amadeus (FM 91.1).
"I wish the Pope could come to Argentina," the businessman said. "I imagine that Francis is very clear about it and knows it, and he will have to evaluate the opportunity based on his worldview.”
Eurnekian’s remarks were made around 13 hours after Milei’s much-anticipated interview with controversial right-wing US commentator Tucker Carlson. During the interview, the libertarian attacked the Argentine pontiff for his supposed embrace of “socialism” and “bloody dictators.” Milei even attempted to link Francis to Satan, saying he is “the representative of the evil one on Earth."
Eurnekian, who formerly employed Milei as an economist for his firm, Corporación America International, said the remarks were disgraceful.
"Milei's statements are totally out of place. He is not in a position to judge or give an opinion on the Pope from any point of view," he declared.
However, the business leader, who is of Armenian origin, said that Milei was free to say what he liked. "Let's not take away his right to give an opinion. Opinions are separated, analysed, improved, and in that context Mr. Milei can say whatever he wants,” he said.
Eurnekian, who has not commented on his relationship with Milei, dismissed rumours that the 52-year-old was still his employee.
"He worked in my company, where there are more than 3,000 employees. He was in the area close to the Finance Department, but this information came to me through the financial manager.
"He is a person who fulfilled his daily tasks and his bosses evaluated him very well and said he was suitable. But from there to saying these opinions about the Pope…," he said.
Asked about the relationship between Milei and other individuals who previously worked for Eurnekian, such as ex-Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 boss Nicolás Posse and lawyer Mariano Cúneo Libarona, the businessman said that this "does not bother him in the slightest."
"Everyone is free within the framework of the law, but I have an obligation to express my opinion when people who have been at the source of the company are involved. In view of this, I am saying my point of view, I do not agree with what Mr Milei has said, nothing more," he declared.