Home » Milei visits Rome as its links with Buenos Aires intensify

Milei visits Rome as its links with Buenos Aires intensify

The Argentinian leader shook the hands of President Mattarella, PM Meloni and FM Tajani (as well as Pope Francis), with all sides signalling a willingness to boost cooperation. His push to liberalise the country’s economy is being closely watched by Italian investors

Javier Milei closes Rome trip. The Argentinian President ended his Italian State visit on Monday, the day he met with his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella – flanked by Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani – and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. He delved into a range of issues with the formers (including the relationship between the European Union and Mercosur) and spent an hour consolidating his entente with the latter, which the Argentinian newspaper La Nacion described as projecting “great harmony”.

  • This was President Milei’s first meeting with a European leader.
  • The two discussed the development of new partnerships across key sectors, such as energy, infrastructure, and agribusiness, PM Meloni wrote on X, highlighting the deep historical and cultural bond” between the countries.
  • In a note, Buenos Aires also noted that “very strong relations” bind Italy and Argentina, fostered by millions of Argentines of Italian origin, and remarked that the two had vowed to deepen them and “develop a joint work agenda.”

The Vatican visit. The day earlier, President Milei had made his way to St. Peter’s for a private meeting with his fellow countrymen Pope Francis. The conversation lasted an hour, an unusually long time for papal audiences; they reportedly touched upon Argentina’s economic crisis and the commitment to peace, themes the politician also touched upon with the Holy See’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organisations.

  • The visit starkly contrasted with the words that the larger-than-life figure had once hurled towards the Holy Father. The former has since shifted tones and walked back on them, calling the latter “the most important Argentine in all of Argentina” and noting that the two had started building a “positive relationship”.

TV break! The Argentinian leader and economist also appeared on Quarta Repubblica on Monday night, enthralling Italian viewers with his usual flamboyant antics. He reiterated his position as an “anarcho-capitalist” and spoke of his “deep contempt for the State,” which he dubbed an “enemy” and a “criminal association” through which politicians “use the monopoly to steal the resources of the private sector” and the citizens, by means of taxing them.

Business is definitely in focus. President Milei’s visit was also an occasion for him to present his vast liberalisation programme, which parallels his ambitious plans to fight inflation and reduce public spending in the debt-ridden country. He was flanked by a large entourage of entrepreneurs from the worlds of commerce, finance, energy, transport, real estate, pharma, and agribusiness. Their Italian colleagues share their will to cooperate.

  • For instance, Bloomberg reported that State-participated energy major Enel is eyeing Argentina’s reform process and even reconsidering its idea of divesting from the national electricity distribution company, Edesur.

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