Argentina’s Milei says Spanish Sanchez brings ‘death and poverty’ after joke about drug use.

By Ana Cantero

MADRID (Reuters) – Madrid and Buenos Aires traded barbs on Saturday after Spanish Transport Minister Oscar Puente suggested Argentine President Javier Milei was a drug user.

Puente suggested during a panel discussion in Salamanca on Friday that Milei had ingested “substances” during last year’s election campaign.

Milei’s office released a statement on Saturday condemning the comments while attacking Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

It accused Sánchez of “endangering Spanish women by allowing illegal immigration” and undermining Spain’s integrity by making deals with separatists, while his left-wing policies brought “death and poverty.”

That drew a rebuke from Spain’s foreign ministry, which said the terms used in the Argentine statement “do not correspond to the relations between the two brotherly countries and peoples.”

Following the election of Milei, a right-wing populist who took over in December, relations between Argentina and Spain, governed by a left-wing coalition led by Sánchez’s Socialist Party, have cooled significantly.

Milei has publicly supported Spain’s far-right anti-immigration Vox party.