Ayuso challenges Vox's favor with Milei and once again breaks a red line of the PP in the face of the extreme right | Spain

Isabel Díaz Ayuso will not be missing from the photo twice. While Javier Milei's previous visit to Spain, in May, was capitalized by Vox, this time Ayuso has rushed to award him a medal to contest the favor of the Argentine president (and the television minutes) with Santiago Abascal. The gesture of harmony, which deviates from the warnings of the PP leadership regarding the Milei phenomenon, once again cleared a red line from his party towards the extreme right. “As Alberto Núñez Feijóo, Manfred Weber and to Ursula Von der Leyen They have made an agreement with Giorgia Meloni. Why can't Ayuso get closer to Milei, if the two are equal? trumpeters?”, notes Adrián Juste, far-right analyst at study center Al Discovered.

Ayuso's maneuver –materialized in the awarding of an official medal which will give rise to a joint photo on Friday – is “coherent” with the direction that the Madrid president is trying to impose on the PP, explains Carmen Lumbierres, professor of political science at UNED. “Ayuso saw in the European elections where the right is growing. And it is growing largely on the far-right side, not in the center, while Spain is a kind of exception. So she moves in that direction to take up that space, where Vox doesn't quite pull. At the same time, it sends the PP a message stating where to go,” the political scientist analyzes.

Vox rushed this Thursday to protect what it considers its country. If Milei finds out about the “increase in public spending” in the Madrid community, he will enter Sol “with a chainsaw,” Rocío Monasterio said. It now remains to be seen how Milei moves, courted by both Abascal and Ayuso. From Argentina, José Natanson, director of the Southern Cone edition of Le Monde Diplomatique, rules out the possibility that the president is acting on the basis of well-thought-out geostrategic analyses. He is an “impulsive, instinctive man, who works with suddenness and tweets,” he says. It is not that the backstage of his international movements cannot be seen, but that it is not there, he assures. There are also no political references to support the prediction. “Raúl Alfonsín admired Felipe González, Carlos Menem admired Bush, but Milei's big reference is Elon Musk,” he explains. And he adds: “What Milei commands in these kinds of scenes are not friends, but enemies. What will define Milei's relationship with Spain is his confrontation with Pedro Sánchez.” According to Natanson, the relationship between the two will work as Ayuso makes it easier for Milei to clash with Sánchez.

Much in common

This Friday's photo does not force any ideological foresight on Ayuso and Milei, as their coincidences are multiple. Both share market fundamentalism and confidence in the positive effect of downward tax competition. His idea of ​​“freedom,” essentially translated into non-intervention by the state, has articulated the black-and-white dilemmas of his election campaigns. “Communism or freedom,” Ayuso summarized in 2021. One of Milei's mottos in his presidential career was 'caste or freedom'.

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Convinced of the crucial role that business must play in providing public services, the two glorify both individualism and the meritocratic ideal, but Circumstances of social and family origin were excluded from the analysis.. When Milei says that 'social justice' is 'violent', for the leader of Madrid it is 'an invention of the left'. “Ayuso,” summarizes Lumbierres, “is in Spain the best incarnation of Milei's Darwinian capitalism of every man for himself. There are differences, of course, because in Europe there are certain minimums of the welfare state that are not affected, if at all, by Ayuso in Spain, nor by Meloni in Italy, nor by Le Pen in France. But the similarities are clear.”

There are more coincidences, outside of economics. Both understand politics as a brutal cultural battle with the opponent, controversy after controversy, without ever stopping the fight. Addicted to attention, they neglect the basic rules of political politeness: Milei with her almost daily use of insults, Ayuso with her slightly more elliptical “I like fruits”. The similarities include the emphasis and unconditionality of both in the defense of not only Israel, but also in the dimension of its attack on Gaza.

The only thing missing was the photo, the affinities were already there. And the links. The Juan de Mariana Institute, it thinktank which rewards Milei this Friday for his “exemplary defense of the ideas of freedom”, is led by Manuel Llamas, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs of the Ayuso government, together with Javier Fernández-Lasquetty, standard-bearer of the most ultra-liberal wing of the government. PP from Madrid, often cited as a economic guru of the president.

Ayuso had previously shown an affinity with Milei that his party's leadership – with exceptions, such as Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo – refused to make so clear. He did this when he endorsed the speech against “social justice” last year, a concept that Milei had already focused on during a visit to Spain in 2022. Ayuso also highlighted his own profile with his reaction during the May diplomatic crisiswhen he didn't sign up for the equidistant from Alberto Núñez Feijóo and concentrated all his criticism on Pedro Sánchez.

These were all gestures and words that implied that Ayuso was pursuing a closer relationship with the “lion president.” Now it's time to take a photo with Milei, the same photo that Santiago Abascal and Giorgia Meloni sought and achieved before her. This Friday's medal places Ayuso in that album.

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