BUENOS AIRES - The Argentine president is to visit Spain towards the end of February, he told EFE in an exclusive interview released Thursday.
Mauricio Macri's visit will coincide with the ARCOmadrid international contemporary art fair, with Argentina invited as a special guest of honor to this year's edition.
When asked whether he would visit Spain before or after the Spanish King was to visit Argentina, Macri said "I think it will be me first, in February for the ARCO fair."
He said he was excited because he loves going to Spain and feels very comfortable there.
Macri's mother, Alicia Blanco Villegas, is of Spanish descent, so he has visited Spain on a number of occasions, above all, as a president of Boca Juniors soccer team to "to sell or buy players to and from Spanish clubs," he said.
He has been to Spain as mayor of Buenos Aires, and now hopes to be able to go as president, Macri continued.
On relations with Spain and his hopes that businesses of the European country invest in Argentina, he said "we're brothers, we have a long history, I'm the grandson of Spanish descendants; half of Argentina is and the Spanish know us more than anyone."
The Argentine president said he felt much closer to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy than he did his predecessor Rodríguez Zapatero, though he expressed equal respect for former Spanish PMs José María Aznar and Felipe González.
Asked if he would like Mariano Rajoy to continue governing Spain, he said that he has known him for a long time and has great respect for him.
He added that Rajoy was corageous in a moment of crisis, when he inherited Zapatero's government and that he had been able to lead Spain slowly in the right direction.