Thursday, May 23, 2024

ARGENTINA | 07-03-2024 14:01

Macri praises ‘honest’ and ‘well-intentioned’ Milei

Horacio Rodríguez Larreta voices opposition to ‘co-government’ or ‘merger’ between PRO and La Libertad Avanza, criticises party colleague Patricia Bullrich's decision to join Javier Milei's government.

Ex-president Mauricio Macri has praised Javier Milei, describing the La Libertad Avanza leader as a “true outsider” who is “honest” and in line with his own thinking.

"What I have seen so far is that we have a well-intentioned, honest president, with a very clear vision – for me a brilliant vision – of where he wants to go, who is capable of defending it with great courage," said the former head of state. 

“I can see that he is a well-intentioned person, who speaks the truth and has a determination to carry his ideas forward that is enviable,” he added. 

"They are the same ideas that I had, but he does it thoroughly."

Macri, 65, delivered the remarks at an event in Rosario organised by the Fundación Libertad think tank. Describing Milei as a “true outsider,” he declared: "It's him, his sister and social media.”

"He is not [Donald] Trump, who had the [US] Republican Party behind him, he is not [Jair] Bolsonaro, who had the Army behind him. He arrived because you Argentines wanted a shock to the political system."

It is not the first time Macri has been publicly supportive of Milei, who has recruited several former officials from the ex-president’s 2015-2019 administration into his own government.

Speculation has raged for several months about the possibility of a formal agreement between Milei’s La Libertad Avanza party and the PRO party founded by Macri in 2015 in order to help pass legislation in Congress, where the libertarian caucus is heavily outnumbered.

The former president said supporting Milei’s reform plan would be key for Argentina’s future.

"It is up to us to rise to the occasion, to be generous and humble in the defence of fundamental ideas," said Macri during his speech.


‘Reorganising the party’

Macri travelled to San Nicolás to attend the ExpoAgro 2024 exhibition on Thursday. Pressed on PRO’s future by reporters in a media scrum at the event, the right-wing leader admitted that “we are reorganising the party."

PRO is due to choose a new leader on March 19 and the former president will be the only candidate. He will take over from Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, who has joined the government.

Last weekend, in an interview with the Clarín newspaper, former Buenos Aires City mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta said he was against any move to merge PRO with La Libertad Avanza and criticised Bullrich’s move.

“Patricia Bullrich abandoned the original values of PRO from the moment she joined a government that attacks" people, he said. “I am against giving the PRO to Milei, call it ‘merger’, ‘co-government’ or whatever you want to call it.”

Asked if he thought party members were pushing for a fusion, the former City mayor said “all statements, all attitudes point in that direction.”

PRO Vice-President Federico Angelini responded by telling reporters that if the former mayor "does not feel identified with this, it is logical that he should not be part of it” – comments most read as an invitation to walk.

Both Bullrich and Macri are said to be open to Rodríguez Larreta’s departure, though neither wants to be seen as kicking him out the door.



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