‘Rocker’ medals for Milei’s inauguration


It is not going to blow up the Central Bank, but Javier Milei yes est shaking the usual structures of the inauguration ceremony of the Argentine presidents: the presidential cane, so nineteenth-century, will share space with some medals and a silver chain that seek reflect the style rocker of the new head of state. A style that appears to be as American as it is disruptive.

Milei will speak this coming Sunday just enough before the Legislative Assembly, because the speech that matters to him He will give it minutes later in front of a crowd gathered in front of the steps of the National Congress. The scenery includes the Plaza de los dos Congresos, a huge esplanade in front of the imposing palace built in the 19th century at one end of Avenida de Mayo. In the other, the Casa Rosada, where Milei will go after being sworn in before the Legislative Assembly.

According to Clarin, Milei will give shape to a “different ceremony, thought of the people and not of politics.” That only implies a brief protocol greeting before the highest representatives of the powers of the State and the special guests, because Milei, who won the elections by criticizing the “political caste”, wants to establish a direct relationship with the people. Quite a matter, since the Argentine Constitution establishes, in its article 22, that “the people do not deliberate and govern, but through their representatives.”

A great admirer of the United States, on the same night of his victory on November 19, Milei spoke on a stage with the logo and aesthetics of the White House, created an unprecedented ‘Office of the President-Elect’ and now wants emulate the speeches of American presidents before a crowd similar to that which is summoned January 20 every four years before the Capitol in Washington.

Neither the medals, nor the chains, nor the speech on the steps of Congress are part of the rites of Argentine democracy. Something that is perhaps logical, because Milei, a populist ultra-liberal who did not exist in politics three years ago, is pure disruption.

Fabin Ortega have the WhatsApp of Karina Milei, the sister of the president-elect and the woman with the last word in almost everything. Karina loved the two medals that the young goldsmith is preparing. One, more formal, includes the symbols of the Argentine Nation; The other, “more personal,” says Ortega, bears the initials ‘JM’ and a lion, a symbol of the libertarian, on the back.

“We want something more modern, something that represents the new government and also the Argentines. The president will be given a new emblem that has nothing to do with the cane,” says Ortega, 45 years old and head of the Platamadre goldsmith’s shop.

Parrarols, the one with the presidential cane

A few meters from Ortega’s workshop, in the heart of San Telmo, the oldest neighborhood of the city founded between 1536 and 1580 by the Spaniards Pedro de Mendoza and Juan de Garay, is the workshop of Juan Carlos Pallarols. Born in Argentina, but of Spanish origin, Pallarols speaks very good Catalan, as well as Galician and some Basque. At 81 years old, he is one of the most famous goldsmiths in Argentina, continuator of a dynasty that was started by his great-great-great-grandfather in 1750 in Barcelona.

In Argentina, Pallarols is synonymous with presidential staff. And those canes are the other extreme compared to the medals and chain that Milei will debut this Sunday: traditional, refined, perfectly calibrated, hostages to an entire republican history.

But Pallarols runs the risk of his staff not being used. Three months ago, Milei exploded on social networks for a video in which the goldsmith said that the candidate had asked for a cane “with a little hair”, in reference to the lion that serves as a symbol for the elected president. Miei accused him of being a liar and told him not to use his staff. Pallarols, in turn, reported that Karina Milei had asked him for 2,000 dollars to have dinner with her brother.

Today, the goldsmith assures, everything is solved. “I spoke with the sister, I spoke with the future chancellor (Diana Mondino) and everyone agrees that the best cane is mine, the one who complies with the rules,” says Pallarols. “There are rules to respect, from the case that contains the cane until the notary (notary) does not touch it. “They are rules that you have to know.”

Although in Argentina you never know. In 2015, when Cristina Kirchner refused to be part of the ceremony for the transfer of command to Mauricio Macri, the cane that was used was from Pallarols, but not from Juan Carlos, but from Adrin, one of her children.

Father and son have a very bad and competitive relationship. “Adrin is angry with me because he told me that I have to stop working, that because of me he can’t progress. I told him that’s not the case, that as long as I’m healthy I’m going to work. And if I’m alive and they accept it, “I’m going to make the cane for the president who takes office in 2027.”

“Adrin made a cane and presented it. But the one that will be delivered is mine, the ceremonial director told me,” adds the patriarch of the Argentine goldsmiths. There is something about the younger Pallarols’ cane that could however attract Milei: on the silver handle there is a lion in relief.

The presidential baton is condemned to be the center of incredible stories. In 2015, Macri’s wife, Juliana Awada, asked an assistant to call the veteran goldsmith. The question he received left Pallarols stunned.

“She told me that Juliana wanted to know if I had given the cane to Cristina Kirchner so that she could I made him a fool (black magic)”.

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