The President of Argentina shortens his trip to Europe and focuses on local issues

(CNN in Spanish) — Javier Miley traveled abroad seven times during his six months in power, and was planning more trips outside the country, but this week, between going back and forth, he was forced to change his plans: he will shorten his European tour to focus on domestic issues.

Originally, Miley was planning to visit the Old Continent to participate in the G7 Summit and the Peace Summit, events that will be held starting June 12 in Italy and Switzerland, respectively. But the complex internal situation in his country increased criticism over his absence, prompting him to curtail his eighth international tour.

When asked about his many departures, he responded true to his confrontational style: “If Moses, who was the greatest liberator in the history of mankind, is being criticized all the time, they can tell me what they want to win.” He said in an interview with Radio Miter, and added that he feels sorry for those who object to him.

The decision to change his schedule came Thursday afternoon after a period of uncertainty, as the possibility of suspending his entire trip was considered. Finally, a source at Casa Rosada confirmed to CNN what the president's itinerary will be so far: He will be in Rome for the G7 summit, and will return to Argentina on June 15.

He intends to return to Europe, specifically to Spain, next June 21, to receive an award from the Juan de Mariana Institute.

The fact is that the turbulent situation in Argentina, which includes scandals over food distribution and cabinet restructuring, requires a greater presence of the president on national territory.

Of the more than half a dozen trips he took, his favorite destination was the United States, a country he has visited four times since becoming president, although it was not the only one.

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In January, he spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Weeks later, he visited Rome to meet with Pope Francis and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and did the same in Israel, where he met with Benjamin Netanyahu.

Javier Miley and Pope Francis together in the Vatican.

In May, he visited Spain to present his new book and participate in the summit of the far-right Vox Party, and his last stop was in El Salvador, where he was present to accompany Nayib Bukele during his inauguration as president, after he completed his last tour in the country. United State.

Troubled waters in Buenos Aires

Among the conflicts facing the government, the most resonant scandal is that of the non-distribution of food by the Ministry of Human Capital, headed by Sandra Petofilo.

Through a request for public information, digital media El Destape revealed on May 22 that at least 5,000 tons of products such as yerba mate, powdered milk, oil, tomato paste, chickpeas and flour, purchased during the administration of Alberto Fernández, had been… Purchased during the rule of Alberto Fernandez. It had not been distributed since Javier Maile took office, and some of it was about to expire.

The government presented various arguments regarding this panoramic picture. In the first place, he explained that the distribution did not take place due to the presence of “ghost restaurants” discovered in an audit conducted by Capital Humano, although presidential spokesman Manuel Adorni later clarified that food was being distributed. Reserved to prevent disasters.

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The controversy escalated, and over the course of weeks there were conflicting complaints and even a judicial complaint, in which a judge ordered the government to submit a plan to distribute this food. On Monday, the government announced an action plan to implement this mission.

As part of this crisis, the government dismissed Minister Pablo de la Torre, but this was not enough to calm the situation, as public attention and scrutiny remained focused on the ministry.

This placed Petofilo in the eye of the storm, and he had to be supported by Javier Maile, who, while everything was happening, was on his fourth trip to the United States.

However, de la Torre's departure was not the only change in the composition of the national government, but rather represented another symptom of the crisis in this area.

On May 27, the resignation of Chief of Staff Nicolas Bossi became official due to “differences in standards and expectations in the progress of the government and the tasks assigned to it,” Casa Rosada explained.

This means restructuring the state's organizational structure. The Ministry of the Interior became a secretariat headed by Lisandro Catalan, which in turn was absorbed by the Chief of Staff, headed until then by Interior Minister Guillermo Francos.

A few days ago, Miley spoke to reporters during the presidential spokesman's usual press conference and emphasized that these changes are part of a reconfiguration that will seek to make the country more efficient.

There, he affirmed his support for Economy Minister Luis Caputo and Sandra Petofilo, whom he described as “the best minister in history.” In addition, he confirmed that he plans to integrate the former head of the Central Bank, Federico Sturzenegger, into a new government district.

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In parallel, on May 29, the Senate concluded the discussion in committees and gave its opinion on one of the main stakes and one of the first legislative failures of the executive branch: the Law of Foundations and Starting Points for the Freedom of Argentines.

This package includes an ambitious series of structural and fundamental reforms for the government. Once again, Miley celebrated the move from the outside.

The law was introduced during the early days of the current administration. Initially it contained 664 articles, and the executive branch pushed for its processing during extraordinary sessions of Congress, between January and February, but everything ended up being rejected in the House of Representatives.

As soon as the regular legislative period began in March, the ruling party sent another, more limited version of the omnibus law – as it is known for its length – which includes 232 articles, which was approved by the House of Representatives and passed to the Senate, which now has to deal with it in the can. Your own.

If this path is followed, the Basic Law will become the first law promoted by this government and approved by the National Congress.

Added to this context is the usual specter of economic crisis. Next week will be known the inflation index for May, which, although it is expected to show a downward trend, will be around 5.2% and will lead to 143.5% at the end of 2024.

Under these circumstances, with so much at stake, and facing criticism for his numerous trips, Miley made the decision to shorten his visit to Europe and stay behind to control the delicate internal situation.

Freddie Dawson

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