The massive firms that met with Milei on Saturday reject the assaults on Begoña Gómez | Economy | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

The president of the Spanish employers' affiliation CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, has “flatly” rejected this Monday the assaults by the Argentine president, Javier Milei, in opposition to Begoña Gómez. At a Vox occasion held on Sunday, the president accused the spouse of the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, of being “corrupt”, giving option to a robust institutional disaster between each international locations. “They don't make any sense. “These are out-of-tone statements from a diplomatic message between two friendly countries,” Garamendi stated in statements to Cadena Ser. And he insisted: “We reject the issue because it is not the place or the place, it is not what is asked of “two friendly and brother countries.” Immediately afterwards, several of the country's large companies have followed in the footsteps of the bosses' association leader and have attacked the words of the Argentine president, with whom they met on Saturday in Madrid.

In an official statement, Telefónica has shown its “total alignment” with the president of the CEOE and has assured that the “attack” on Sánchez and his wife during a visit to Spain “makes sense.” BBVA and Santander have positioned themselves along the same lines. The two entities “totally” subscribe to the employers' line and emphasize that in Milei's meeting with the Spanish firms they talked exclusively about economics and business projects.

“This type of language and insults do not contribute to the coexistence of our societies and in no case should they be part of the political dialectic between two brother countries, with a long history of collaboration and defense of democracy,” Abertis adds in another note, the infrastructure company that also attended the meeting with the Argentine president on Saturday. Naturgy, another of the firms present at the weekend event, has added its support to the statements of the employer's leader. Its president, Francisco Reynés, has remarked at the CREO Forum, organized by Cinco Días, that “personal respect has to prevail over any opinion.”

In his speech, Garamendi continued his criticism of Milei's words, ensuring that this attack – “in this case on our president and in Spain,” he stated – is a sign that institutional loyalty has been lacking. “Regardless of whether you like it or not, the President of the Government is our President of the Government. Diplomatic relations must be different,” the president of the employers' association emphasized.

The Spanish business leader has thus distanced himself from the words of the Argentine president about Sánchez's wife, after Garamendi himself led a meeting on Saturday between a large delegation of top leaders of large Spanish companies with Milei. The photo of that meeting of senior Spanish business executives with the ultra president has received strong criticism over the weekend from different political and social spheres. However, Garamendi has defended both the holding of said meeting and the fact that only men attended.

Asked if the businessmen are not afraid that their attitude will be interpreted as support for Milei, the president of the employers' association responded that at that business meeting “they talked about the economy” and he framed it within the meetings that business leaders usually have “ with Ibero-American presidents who stop in Spain.” Thus, he has given as an example that the day before another similar delegation met with the president of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa. “We work with the democratic governments that affect us; No one has gone to support or not support anyone. We don't have to look any further into the matter,” he concluded.

“It was an absolutely economic and interesting meeting, because Spanish companies have suffered a lot in that country in the last two years and he [Milei] “He proposed what could be done to improve the situation.” That said, Garamendi has appealed for the Government to “do what it has to do” because, as he recalled, Spain, with 18 billion euros invested in Argentina, is the leading European investor in that country and the second largest in the world.

A photo without women

As he explained, Saturday's business meeting was organized entirely by the Argentine Government, which was the one who “personally invited every of the businesses and it was not a matter of CEOE.” Hence, he justified the fact that there were no women in the photograph of those attending the meeting. Each company, he explained, “saw who they had to command and it was up to them,” which in this case were all men. What's more, he has assured that all the companies represented at the meeting, as well as the CEOE, “are fashions and examples of equality (…) we aren’t left with a photograph however with how we work.”

However, despite the rejection of the attacks on Gómez, Garamendi has resisted demanding that the PP align itself with the Government in the diplomatic crisis that has opened with Argentina as a result of Milei's statements. “In the debate between parties and within Spain, let everyone do what they have to do, but we ask for moderation and tranquility. At every rally we hear harsh words that do not help anyone. You don't see these things on the street, we understand each other,” said Garamendi. For this reason he has asked for “State agreements between the major parties.”

“Far left”

The leader of Spanish businessmen has also not opted for Spanish companies to emulate German companies, which have jointly positioned themselves against the advance of the extreme right before the European elections. Given the possibility of whether a similar statement could be seen in Spain, he said: “I don't know. We don't like radicalism, let's be clear, and we don't like extreme radicality. I've been saying it for five years. “We like moderation and we will always move in those spaces.”

Garamendi has added that when he rejects extremism he extends it to those on the left. He did not want to answer clearly to the second vice president of the Government and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, who this Monday described the businessmen's meeting with Milei as a “serious mistake,” but he did say that the leader of Sumar “is confusing things out of personal interest.” Given this, the president of the CEOE has been questioned about whether he was equating the extreme right with the left that Díaz represents: “I am not going to answer. But looking for blame in the business world doesn't help either. Although we are used to being accused of being guilty when there are radical pronouncements from other sides.” Radicality, he added, comes “from the extreme right and the extreme left.”

Follow all the information Economy y Business in Facebook y Xor in our publication semanal