Alberto Fernández and Olaf Scholz met to deepen trade relations and analyze the global agenda

(Photo: Nicolas Stulberg)

Alberto Fernandez met this afternoon with the chancellor of Germany, Olaf Schölz, who arrived in the country today as part of his tour of South America. With an agenda based on bilateral trade, the signing of investment and financing agreements for local projects, The President is trying to improve his position in the region vis-a-vis the main powers, and take advantage of the raw material needs of European countries, which deepened as a result of the war in Ukraine.

The meeting, however, was held after the questions made by Germany before the UN about the actions of the Government before the Justice, especially in the framework of the trial promoted by the ruling party against the Supreme Court.

“Germany expresses its concern about attempts to exert political influence on the justice system. Germany in this sense recommends that judicial independence is strengthened and judges and investigators are protected from pressure and intimidation. It also suggests working actively with the opposition to fill vacant positions in the Attorney General, the Supreme Court and the Ombudsman’s Office,” the German diplomat said days ago. Ann-Jasmin Krabatsch at the UN.

Krabatsch’s statements took place after the controversial presentation that he had made the previous day, in the same setting, on behalf of Argentina, the Secretary of Human Rights and a Kirchnerist reference, Horace Pietragalla, where he questioned judges and prosecutors and pointed out that there were leaders who were prevented from competing in the elections, although without directly mentioning Cristina Kirchner. After that presentation, the Member States agreed on a series of recommendations, among which they asked Argentina to “ensure the full independence of the judiciary.”

The exchanges and deliberations at the UN took place between Monday and Tuesday, and became an uncomfortable prelude to the arrival of Scholz in Argentina, which arrived at Ezeiza International Airport today at 5:45 p.m. He was received by Santiago Cafiero, the Minister of Human Rights and Alberto Fernández’s right-hand man. He arrived with a delegation made up of collaborators, businessmen and journalists. An hour after their landing, at 6:45 p.m., they both carried out the traditional wreath in the monument to the Liberator General Don José de San Martín, in front of the San Martín Palace.

The protocol act with which the European president was welcomed
The protocol act with which the European president was welcomed

Starting at 7:15 p.m., at the San Martín Palace, headquarters of the Foreign Ministry, Alberto Fernández starred in a bilateral meeting with Scholz. And, simultaneously, although the Economy Minister, Sergio Massa, was scheduled to lead a meeting with businessmen and an extended meeting with members of both countries —after which commercial instruments will be signed—, finally they were Gabriel Rubinstein —deputy minister—, Flavia Royón —Secretary of Energy— Y Matías Tombolini —Commerce— who represented the portfolio.

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Alberto Fernández and Olaf Scholz in a bilateral meeting in June during the G7 summit (File)
Alberto Fernández and Olaf Scholz in a bilateral meeting in June during the G7 summit (File)

At night, at 8:30 p.m., it was estimated that the Head of State and Scholz will hold a declaration meeting to the press in the Patio de Honor. And at 9:00 p.m., finally, both will lead, in the Libertador hall of the Palacio San Martin, the closing of the business meeting with directors of German firms and representatives of Argentine companies. Tomorrow, the chancellor will travel to Chile, and then to Brazil.

Background and plans

The last foreign minister to visit Argentina was Scholz’s predecessor, Angela Merkel, who traveled to the country to meet with Mauricio Macri in a bilateral meeting, in 2017. And today is the third time that Alberto Fernández and the foreign minister have seen each other in person. Scholz had received the President in May, in Berlin. And in June, the also president of the G7 had invited him to participate in the summit of that group of world leaders, which was held in Munich.

In the talks at that time, the President focused on telling Scholz about the war in Ukraine. They discussed the concern about the “impact in the south of the war produced by the countries of the north”, and talked about Argentina becoming a “safe and stable supplier of energy and food”. According to sources from the Foreign Ministry and the Casa Rosada, from the national administration they will seek to deepen in this regard today, and “build and improve relationship policy with Germany.

Investments will be announced tonight and legal and economic agreements and instruments will be signed. Germany is reportedly interested in the Hydroelectric, Low Carbon Hydrogen and Ammonia, Lithium and Electromobility, and Natural Gas sectors. And the German companies that will participate in the talks will be the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Bayer AG Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals; Nordex SE renewable energy; Voith Turbines and Hydroelectric Plants; Aurubis AG Copper, Lithium offtake with ammonia suppliers; VNG Power infrastructure; Herrenknecht AG Underground tunneling machinery; Fichtner renewable energy; Volkswagen Lithium for electric car batteries; Wintershall AG Energy oil & Gas; Häfele Electronic controls; DEM Deutsche Metalle Start up mining projects; siemens.

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In the Government they highlighted that Scholz “always thanked” publicly Alberto Fernández for his denunciation of the war in the corresponding organizations. “They read things well. They recognized Alberto’s commitment to peace, and against the illegal war in Russia. And they are interested in the new energies, but also in the old ones, and Germany is looking for new energy suppliers that we have, mainly in Vaca Muerta”, summed up an important Ministry official.

Alberto Fernández comes from being the host at the Celac summit that was held in Buenos Aires
Alberto Fernández comes from being the host at the Celac summit that was held in Buenos Aires

And he added: “Another important issue, which has taken on value, is that Latin America is a zone of Peace, as Alberto, Santiago and Lula highlighted in Celac. Investments need stability, and the situation in our country is favorable for them”. The government’s strategy is for Argentina to become a supplier of food and energy. Germany, they consider, “is a great player, who needs part of those resources we have.”

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