Sunday, February 25, 2024

ARGENTINA | 07-05-2021 01:58

President heads to Europe with IMF and Paris Club debts on agenda

Further details emerge of Peronist leader's trip to Europe, which will take in Portugal, Spain, France and Italy.

President Alberto Fernández will head to Europe and meet Pope Francis in the Vatican as the country looks to secure a repayment deal with the International Monetary Fund.

Argentina is due to start repaying the US$44 billion loan this year but in March Fernandez said the debt in its current form was "unpayable."

In recession since 2018, Argentina must also repay a US$2.8-billion loan with the Paris Club of creditor countries that provide sustainable solutions to debtor countries.

Those included three of the countries Fernández will visit: France, Italy and Spain.

The Peronist leader is due to arrive in Portugal on Sunday to meet his counterpart, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, while Economy Minister Martín Guzmán, Foreign Minister Felipe Solá, and first lady Fabiola Yáñez will also make the trip to Europe.

Guzmán, whose future has been the subject of speculation in recent days, was in Europe just three weeks ago. At the end of his tour he said he had been able to build "very valuable support" for Argentina's bid to restructure upcoming debt repayments.

On Monday afternoon he will head to Spain to meet King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

French President Emmanuel Macron will host Fernandez at the Élysée Palace on Wednesday and the next day Pope Francis will welcome him to the Vatican, before a final meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

The president will return to Buenos Aires from Rome on Friday.


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