Thanking him for his “sincere support so that Argentina can once again stand on its feet,” President Alberto Fernández met Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in Madrid on Tuesday. During a meeting that lasted nearly three hours, Fernández and Sánchez discussed Argentina’s imminent debt negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and private creditors.
Fernández arrived at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid as part of his European tour in an effort to court support from European leaders for his administration’s intention to restructure its sovereign debt, including an important loan from the IMF. Earlier this week, the Peronist leader had met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, while the previous week he was in Rome to see Pope Francis and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
"Today I met again with the Prime Minister of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, a great friend whom I greatly appreciate. It is always pleasant to hear him and see that we share visions of the world," noted the Argentine president.
Through his Twitter account, Fernández published a photo of the meeting and added: "He offered me his sincere support so that Argentina can get back on its feet and move forward."
Fernández became the first head of state to travel to Spain since Pedro Sánchez’s inauguration.
Subsequently, Alberto Fernández met with King Felipe VI, at the Palacio de la Zarzuela in Madrid"We had a very good meeting with King Felipe VI, in which we talked about various issues that concern us. I appreciate the gesture of receiving me and the sincere support that Spain provides to Argentina. I hope we can deepen this fruitful dialogue," posted Fernández on his Twitter account.
Foreign Minister Felipe Solá and the Secretary General of the Presidency Julio Vitobello also participated in the meeting.
In the midst of his various meetings in Spain it was announced that former Unión Cívica Radical (UCR) deputy Ricardo Alfonsín will be the new Argentine ambassador to Madrid, a position that had been vacant since December after Ramón Puerta's departure.
The primary objective of Fernandez’s trip is to gain support for IMF debt renegotiations.
Having inherited an economic crisis that began 18 months ago with a currency collapse, Fernández is aiming to renegotiate repayments of US$44-billion borrowed from the fund.
In addition to debt and poverty woes, Argentina is battling one of the world's highest inflation rates, topping 53 percent last year.
Wednesday, Fernández is scheduled to arrive inFrance, where he will meet President Emmanuel Macron in the Elysee Palace, which will be his final stop before returning to Argentina.