Former national deputy and Coalición Cívica-ARI leader Elisa 'Lilita' Carrió has backed the government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and called on opposition lawmakers to do the same.
Speaking during a videoconference meeting of leaders from the party she founded, the veteran politician said members of the opposition Juntos por el Cambio coalition had an “inexcusable duty” to support the deal, which was announced two weeks ago by President Alberto Fernández.
Carrió, 65, said Argentina “must honour its debts” and that to do otherwise would put the country on the path to “becoming an unviable nation,” while criticising allies who “speculate” on the issue.
“The position of the CC is one of principle: first the Republic, then honouring the debts," said the former presidential candidate.
"We have an inexcusable duty to prevent us from becoming a non-viable nation. We must support and discuss the debt agreement in Congress,” she declared.
“It is possible that there will not be great improvements in the economy after reaching an agreement, but we would be avoiding greater evils such as international isolation and productive paralysis," underlined Carrió.
The Resistencia-born politician said criticism of the government and its economic policy did not mean that the deal shouldn’t be supported.
“Debts must be honoured because it is the right thing to do. Not agreeing to do so would mean bankruptcy. We know that this government has no economic policy, but we have to support the intention to reach an agreement on the debt,” she concluded.
“It is not about bowing to a government, it is about thinking about Argentina, being able to open up to exports and move towards a social and liberal humanism," Carrió said.
"We are facing a weak president, so we have to take care and support the continuity of the democratic republic. We must comply with constitutional mandates. The theory that 'the worse [it gets] the better' only serves a few opportunists and punishes the middle and lower sectors,” said the former lawmaker.
Addressing tensions in the relationship between the three parties that make up Juntos por el Cambio, Carrió said she is “worried about the fragmentation we are experiencing."
"It worries me that there are ten candidates for president and that none of them wants to pay the costs. Life is made to pay costs, we cannot be speculators," she stressed.