The 9-J campaign, which begins Thursday night and will be held as a kind of plebiscite between Pedro Sánchez and Alberto Núñez Feijóo, is already firing at a thousand revolutions per minute. The missile that the Argentinian Javier Milei launched against the President of the Spanish Government, calling his wife, Begoña Gómez, “corrupt”, during the Vox rally that he took part in on Sunday in Madrid, not only triggered a diplomatic crisis between the two governments, but it also has a full impact on the sour Spanish political scene, which is facing the last steps of a turbulent electoral cycle that is being resolved as an unrelenting war between the PSOE and the PP.

Sánchez yesterday demanded respect for Spain, despite the mutual political differences with the Argentine president, whom he includes in the “far-right international” against which he warns. “Between governments, affections are free, but respect is inalienable”, he urged.

And he demanded of Milei “a public rectification”. Without success, because the Argentine president insisted on the rhetoric – “The lion has returned, surfing a wave of socialist tears” -, and the spokesperson of the Casa Rosada, Manuel Adorni, urged the Spanish Government to apologize for ” grievances” to Milei, such as consuming “substances”.

After the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, summoned the Spanish ambassador in Buenos Aires for consultations and summoned the Argentine diplomatic representative in Madrid to express his protest, Sánchez reserved new moves. “The Government’s response will be in accordance with the dignity that Spanish democracy represents,” he warned at the Cinco Días forum. The president highlighted the “bonds of brotherhood” that unite the two countries, but regretted that the Argentine president “has not lived up to his statements”.

And he warned “of the risk that the far-right international represents for societies that support our democracy on the pillars of economic progress, social justice and coexistence”. Sánchez immediately turned the focus towards Feijóo and Santiago Abascal: “Defending Spanish institutions from insults and defamation that foreign presidents may eventually make does not make sense, because beyond ideology there is education and patriotism” .

The PP modulated its position yesterday, after on Sunday it attributed to the Government an overaction as a simple strategy for the 9-J to mobilize the progressive electorate. But Feijóo opted for a position of equidistance: “Neither the Government, which began by insinuating that the Argentine president consumed substances, nor Milei, calling Sánchez’s wife ‘corrupt’, are not in the space of moderation that I I claim for politics”.

The leader of the PP criticized a “verbal escalation” which, in his opinion, “doesn’t go anywhere”, and put Sánchez and Milei in the same bag of “improper overacting” by democratic rulers. And he demanded “moderation” from both of them.

Feijóo also required explanations from the Argentine Government, but with other methods and ways, to distance himself from Moncloa’s reaction. “Sánchez is not the State”, warned Feijóo, and reproached him for trying to give “lessons in diplomacy” when his Government did “the same thing it is denouncing today”, with reference to the Minister of Transport, Óscar Puente, who began the dialectical confrontation with Milei accusing him of consuming “substances” for his strange behaviour.

The host of Milei at the meeting on Sunday that opened the box of thrones, Santiago Abascal, in turn described the reaction of the Spanish Government as “hair pulling”, because it interprets the criticism of the president’s wife as an interference in Spanish sovereignty. But the leader of Vox was also furious with Feijóo, for having added, in his opinion, to “the pincer” of the PSOE against Milei. Abascal lamented the “lack of international vision” of the leader of the PP: “He has serious difficulties in choosing allies”, he warned.

Sánchez also denounced Abascal’s words at the Vox rally on Sunday. “An explicit appeal to political violence”, he warned, after the recent attack on the Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico. And he urged the condemnation of Abascal’s harangues: “To say that a legitimate Government must be kicked out is anti-democratic”.

The PSOE Government partner, Sumar, also charged Feijóo for refusing to condemn Milei’s words, but his spokesman, Minister Ernest Urtasun, requested that more forceful action be taken against the Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu, for the “genocide” in Gaza, than against the Argentine president.

And the spokeswoman of the PSOE, Esther Peña, who accused Ferraz of “false patriotism” Feijóo and Abascal, for trying to “scratch four measly votes”, replied to Sumar that “equidistance is no solution”.