Photo via La Nación

President Mauricio Macri and his wife, First Lady Juliana Awada, landed in The Netherlands on Saturday for the first official Argentine state visit to the country. The couple has been spending time with royalty over the weekend at King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima’s country residence, Villa Eikenhorst, and Macri even enjoyed a bike ride through the Wassenaar forest yesterday.

Today, greeted by shouts of both support and protest from members of the public, the Argentine representatives kicked off their official agenda with a visit to Dam Square and Anne Frank’s house in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam.

But the next few days will not all be easy bike rides and cultural trips for the Argentine president and his wife. One of the main aims of Macri’s visit to The Netherlands, according to the government, is to “strengthen the political relationship” and create “a favorable climate that will allow Argentina to increase exports” to the country. To this end, Macri will also be attending a business forum where he will meet with twelve of major local businesses, who are purportedly interested in investing in Argentina.

Accompanying the President on his trip to Europe is not only his wife, Juliana, but also an entourage of ministers and secretaries, as well as about thirty entrepreneurs looking to encourage business ties between the two countries.

The Argentine delegation includes big names like Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, Education Minister Esteban Bullrich and Labor Minister Jorge Triana. The governor of Entre Ríos, Gustavo Bordet, also travelled, along with the Secretary for Strategic Affairs, Fulvio Pompeo, presidential spokesman Ivan Pavlovsky, the Secretary for Human Rights, Claudio Avruj, and owner of Acumar Gladys González.

In addition, joining the group in Holland are the heads of Argentina’s Rural Society, Luis Miguel Etchevehere, and of the UIA, Daniel Funes de Rioja, and the CEO of Shell Argentina, Teófilo Lacroze.

Macri in Dam Square today. Photo via La Nación

Before getting down to business, this morning, alongside his wife, Macri attended an official royal reception in Amsterdam’s main square and the Royal Palace. He was greeted with mixed reactions from the public, mostly Argentines, in Dam Square.

Macri and Juliana walked alongside the royal couple amid calls of both support and protest. Keeping up his pokerface, Macri left flowers at the monument commemorating the victims of the Second World War while the shouts grew louder.

According to Ámbito, to the left hand side of the square, a group of about thirty supporters started to shout in unison “¡sí, se puede!, ¡sí, se puede!” (“yes, we can!”) as they waved Argentine flags. Talking to the newspaper, Natalia Díaz Romero explained: “We’re happy to have the president here, it’s a good opportunity for Argentina. 95 percent of Argentinians who voted in Holland voted for Macri.”

Meanwhile, at the other side of the square, a group from the association H.I.J.O.S. shouted “Panamá, Panamá, where is the money?” and an activist with a megaphone addressed Macri with the words “there were 30,000 disappeared people, don’t forget it, Macri” and “Macri, you are the dictatorship.” Many protesters also held signs, including some who were demanding freedom for Milagro Sala.

After their official welcome, Argentine-born Queen Máxima Zorreguieta accompanied the couple to Anne Frank’s house, according to photos posted on Macri’s official twitter account.

This afternoon, the Argentine president has been attending the Business Forum at the Beurs van Berlage Conference Center, and later the couple attended another event, also at Beurs van Berlage, to encourage sport and attend a youth hockey clinic. In true regal style, tonight they will be dining at the Royal Palace with the King and Queen.

As for their plans for tomorrow, Macri is due to attend the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague and then hold talks with members of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The first lady, for her part, will visit the Mauritshuis museum with Queen Máxima in the capital city. The visit will continue with a lunch held by the royals in the Trêves del Binnenhof – the parliament complex – for which “social dialogue” will apparently be the main talking point.

On Tuesday afternoon, Macri, his wife and Máxima will tour part of the port of Rotterdam and the official visit will conclude with a trip to the theater in The Hague to see a ballet show.