The highlight of Javier Milei's tour will take place this Monday when he finally holds an official audience in the Vatican with Pope Francis after his first improvised hug during the canonization ceremony of Mama Antula.
Then, the president will be received by the president and head of the Italian government, Sergio Mattarella and Giorgia Meloni, respectively, to end an international tour that also took him to Israel.
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The meeting with Jorge Bergoglio will take place this Monday at 9:00 a.m. local time (5:00 a.m. in Argentina) in the private library of the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the pope in Vatican City. It will be a private meeting, without a previously established duration.
Afterwards, Milei will hold a meeting with the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
“For us it is essential that the President and the Supreme Pontiff continue to establish a relationship of brotherhood. His message of peace and by virtue of what his figure represents for hundreds of thousands of faithful makes his contribution to the peace of Argentina essential,” sources from the Casa Rosada told TN.
Milei's arrival in Ezeiza is scheduled for Tuesday morning.
A relaxed first round after a relationship full of roughness
Milei and the pope want to definitively leave behind a relationship marked by the insults of the current president, who came to define the pontiff as “the representative of evil on Earth” when he had not yet landed in the Government House.
The first round face to face was relaxed. During the canonization ceremony of Mama Antula, both had a cordial dialogue and hugged each other. The pope joked about the president's traditional hair: “Did you cut your hair?” he asked. The response was in the same vein: “I messed it up.”
Javier Milei makes the sign of the cross during the canonization of Mama Antula, along with his sister Karina Milei and Guillermo Francos (Photo: Reuters)By: REUTERS
But this Monday will be something else. Behind closed doors and away from the cameras, Milei will try to definitively close a relationship marked by insults and strong statements on his part against the Argentine pope to give way to a cordial bond that could lead to Bergoglio's first visit to Argentina in his pontificate. .
At the Casa Rosada they see this meeting as a turning point in the personal ties between the two. Although they have opposing views on major issues, the ruling party aspires to iron out all the rough edges and strengthen a diplomatic and cordial bond. The request for forgiveness made by Milei to the Pope for his harsh words was the first step towards a meeting that will finally materialize this Monday.
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However, Bergoglio is expected to put emphasis on social issues and care for the poor and excluded during his dialogue with the president, in a difficult socioeconomic situation deepened by cuts, delayed salaries and skyrocketing inflation in the first two months of government. . In fact, on January 14, Francisco spoke with Italian television and expressed concern because in Argentina, as he said, “people are suffering so much.”
Milei, in turn, hopes to seal a definitive conciliation. “We are going to have a very fruitful dialogue, just like when we spoke on the phone, I barely assumed. And I hope that we have the possibility that the Pope's health is in conditions for him to come visit the Argentines,” the president said from Rome to radio Miter. Furthermore, he stated: “he is the most important Argentine in history.”
Francisco has been flirting with the possibility of visiting Argentina this year. In recent weeks, he considered a tentative date: the second half of 2024.
How Javier Milei's visit to Italy will continue
Later, Milei will meet with his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella, and with the prime minister, the far-right Giorgia Meloni.
Milei and Meloni share ideological postulates. In fact, the Italian premier was the first European leader to congratulate the libertarian economist after his victory in the runoff election. A few weeks ago, she called him “fascinating.”
The meeting with Mattarella will take place at 1:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. in Argentina) at the Quirinale Palace, headquarters of the presidency. Then, at 4:00 p.m. local time (12:00 p.m. in Argentina), Milei will be received by Meloni at the Chigi Palace, the headquarters of the government, the Italian executive said in a statement this Sunday.
Giorgia Meloni will receive Javier Milei this Monday (Photo: Reuters) By: via REUTERS
“Argentina is a nation to which we are united by deep historical and cultural ties and where the largest community of Italians abroad resides. Rome and Buenos Aires share common values that define our foreign political action in the current international context,” Meloni said shortly after Milei's electoral victory.
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The Argentine president is accompanied by his sister and general secretary of the Presidency, Karina Milei; the chancellor, Diana Mondino; the Minister of the Interior, Guillermo Francos; the head of Human Capital, Sandra Pettovello; that of Worship, Francisco Sánchez, and the designated ambassador to the State of Israel, Rabbi Axel Wahnish.
Mondino will meet in the afternoon with his counterpart and vice president of the Italian Government, Antonio Tajani, at Farnesina, headquarters of the Italian Foreign Ministry.