Monday, June 24, 2024

ARGENTINA | 06-06-2024 16:21

President Milei trims dates off European tour, will skip G7 summit in Italy

President Javier Milei cancels his visit to Italy for upcoming G7 summit and decides to shorten planned trip to Europe. Meetings with Lula and Macron now off the table, along with Ukraine summit.

President Javier Milei has decided to cut short his extensive international tour scheduled for June, suspending his participation in the upcoming G7 leaders summit in Italy.

Milei, 53, will instead prioritise visits to Spain and Germany, where he will receive prizes from foundations for his defence of liberty.

The decision means that a proposed bilateral meeting with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, will no longer take place. 

Nor will Argentina’s President have to face a potentially awkward meeting with Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was due to be in Italy during the G7 summit.

Milei had been scheduled to attend the G7 summit (running June 13-15 at Borgo Egnazia) after receiving an invite from Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and was set to hold bilateral talks with Macron in Paris on June 19. 

The change in schedule comes ahead of a crucial moment for Milei’s sprawling package of pro-market reforms in Argentina's Senate, where opposition lawmakers have threatened to strip several major provisions in a key vote next week.

Ongoing negotiations over the reform package contributed to Milei’s cancellation of the visit with Macron, an unnamed source told Bloomberg. 


New tour dates

Milei now intends to kick off his European tour on June 21 to attend award ceremonies in Spain and Germany instead.

Despite open tension with Spain following Milei’s corruption accusations against Begoña Gómez, the wife of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Argentina's President will return to Madrid to receive an award from the Juan de Mariana Institute. 

The ceremony will take place as part of a “Freedom Dinner” set to be held at the Casino de Madrid.
Although the agenda for the president's trip has not yet been finalised, the libertarian administration has ruled out the possibility of a bilateral meeting with Sánchez or any of his ministers. 

As a second stop, the libertarian leader will visit Hamburg, Germany, on June 22, to receive “the Hayek medal,” an award given in reference to Nobel economics laureate Frederic von Hayek. 

The prize will be given in recognition of “the fight for the noble cause of freedom, a battle that Milei presented in academia and now in politics.”

Milei’s team also intends to take advantage of the trip to arrange a meeting with German Chancellor Olaff Scholz. 

Government sources said Thursday that the tour’s full schedule has not been defined and other countries may be added to the President’s tour.

Ukraine summit no go?

Milei’s new travel dates also put at risk his attendance at the Ukraine Peace summit in Switzerland, where President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set to present a blueprint for peace in his nation’s ongoing war with Russia.

The event, which takes place June 15 and 16 at Burgenstock near Lucerne, is being hosted by Switzerland and the European Union.



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