Pedro Sánchez offers Argentina that Spain be its "front door" before the European Union

The Spanish president and Fernndez show their harmony and promise to lead a global debate to increase vaccine production

Pedro Snchez and Alberto Fernndez, at the reception of the Spanish president at the Casa Rosada.Juan Ignacio RONCORONIEFE

With the reception at the Casa Rosada, the official visit of Pedro Sánchez began this morning in Argentina, an “important” trip for this country since he is the first foreign president to receive Alberto Fernández. The Andean president took office in December 2019 and the outbreak months after the pandemic has prevented the presence of leaders from other countries. However, Sánchez and Fernández met less than a month ago in Madrid, on the occasion of the Argentine leader’s European tour, in search of support for his request to the Paris Club and the IMF to renegotiate the debt.

Argentina has the full support of Spain in this request. The Chief Executive has expressed it publicly on several occasions and today he repeated it at the closing of the Argentina-Spain Business Forum, the first act of his day at the headquarters of the Argentine Government. “Spain is on the side of Argentina in its conversations with the IMF,” he said, after also applauding the fact that this international organization injects money, through a new allocation of special drawing rights, for middle-income countries.

Argentina is going through a very difficult time. It was able to overcome the first wave of the coronavirus, with specific confinements between March and November, but now the country has one of the highest infection rates in Latin America, accumulating 80,000 deaths and this same week there was a record number of deaths with 733 in a single day. Added to the difficult health situation is the brutal economic crisis left by the pandemic, with 40% of shops closed in Buenos Aires, absolutely orphaned by tourists and street life.

Snchez today offered Argentina to be his interlocutor before the EU. “That you see Spain as a gateway to Europe, which can be a great ally of Argentina,” he pointed out. The visit aims to approve a strategic action plan for the period 2021-23, which reinforces the strategic association between both countries. And the president has highlighted the “good health of the relations of our governments” and has shown his “empathy with Argentine society, which is suffering the onslaught of the virus.” “We are living very difficult times for the rulers with very difficult but very necessary decisions,” the Spanish chief executive has acknowledged.

Neither of them has spared praise for the other. Snchez has said that Fernndez was one of the first presidents to call him, in the hardest stages of the pandemic in Spain. The Argentine president has called him “friend.” and neither has hidden the link that supposes that both are governments of the center-left.

In fact, Sánchez has proposed to take advantage of this harmony to lead a worldwide debate on the need to increase vaccine production. And Fernndez has also highlighted the opportunity for two progressive executives to coincide – “Peronist in my case”, he specified, to expand and intensify the business relationship.

Sánchez has landed in Buenos Aires, accompanied by an outstanding group of businessmen. The visit is not only a gesture of support for the Kichnerian Fernndez, but also an attempt to strengthen commercial ties, which are already very intense with Argentina.

In this case it is necessary to ask the same question that I overflew on last week’s trip to Tripoli. Not too early to make an appearance? In Libya, because the peace process is still progressing lukewarm. In Argentina because the rebound of its economy is not yet in sight.

Moncloa responds to this with the data of the strong commercial relationship, which Spain wants to intensify and diversify. The objective, they explain, is “to articulate a joint work between governments and the private sector of both countries.”

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