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Spain recalls its ambassador to Argentina over ‘insult’

Spain has said it was recalling its ambassador from Buenos Aires after Argentine President Javier Milei, speaking at a far-right gathering in Madrid, called Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s wife “corrupt”.

Mr Milei had called Mr Sánchez’s wife Begoña Gómez “corrupt” during the rally in Madrid organised by the far-right Vox party and attended by many of its international allies.

Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said he expected an apology from Milei.

Other ministers also condemned Mr Milei’s speech, in which he described socialism as “cursed and carcinogenic”. Mr Sánchez leads Spain’s Socialist Party.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez with his wife Begoña Gómez

“With his behaviour, Milei has brought the relationship between Spain and Argentina to its most serious state in recent history,” Mr Albares said in a video statement.

Mr Milei’s visit broke with diplomatic protocol as he refused to meet Spain’s King Felipe and Mr Sánchez, instead preferring to promote his book alongside Vox leader Santiago Abascal at the party rally.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a post on social messaging app X that “attacks against family members of political leaders have no place in our culture”.

Spain’s main opposition party, the conservative People’s Party (PP), refused to support Madrid’s stance, with party sources saying that Mr Sánchez should have provided explanations about the alleged corruption case weeks ago.

“His silence generates internal doubts, but also distrust abroad,” a PP source said, adding that the party’s job was to oppose the Spanish government and not Mr Milei.

A city court said in April it was looking into accusations of influence peddling and business corruption against Mr Sánchez’s wife, brought in a private complaint by Manos Limpias, or Clean Hands, an anti-corruption activist group.

However, Madrid’s prosecuting authority later said it was appealing to have the case thrown out for lack of evidence.

Mr Sánchez decided to stay in office after five days of weighing his future once the probe against his wife was announced.

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