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Argentina's Milei receives award in Hamburg, Germany

June 22, 2024

Right-wing populist Argentine President Javier Milei received a medal from the neoliberal Friedrich von Hayek Foundation. Left-wing groups plan to protest the event over his austerity measures.

Argentine President Javier Milei wearing Argentine flag sash in front of large Argentine flag
Argentine President Javier Milei is expected to be met with left-wing protests while receiving an award from an institute advocating neoliberal economicsImage: Str/AFP/Getty Images

Argentine President Javier Milei received an award in Hamburg in northern Germany on Saturday.

The right-wing populist was met with protests from left-wing groups over his support for austerity measures.

Milei is later expected to meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, although a military honors reception has been canceled. The federal government said that the program was shortened at the request of the Argentine delegation.

It comes a day after Milei was snubbed by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and the country's royals. Instead, the Argentine leader met with the head of the Madrid region's government, Isabel Diaz Ayuso of the opposition conservative People's Party, at an event organized by the far-right Vox party.

Milei will end his visit to Europe in the Czech Republic.

What medal is Milei set to receive?

Milei received an award from the Friedrich von Hayek Foundation, a think tank named after the Austrian-born academic who helped develop neoliberal economic theory.

The group's chairman, Stefan Kooths, praised Milei after his win in the Argentine general election in November last year.

Former German spy boss Hans-Georg Maassen and Alternative for Germany (AfD) lawmaker Beatrix von Storch cheered Milei on, chanting "Freedom."Maassen was part of the conservative CDU and founded a splinter party, the Values Union (WU), earlier this year.

Milei has said he aims to tackle Argentina's economic issues such as corruption, rising sovereign debt and currency instability.

The populist leader advocates for austerity measures to improve economic indicators and is a self-identified "anarcho-capitalist."

Left-wing groups are planning to protest the event, including a demonstration under the slogan "No prize for the extreme right — No medal for Milei" near the venue where the Argentine head of state is to receive the award.

sdi/rm (dpa, AFP)