Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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ECONOMY | 07-10-2020 17:56

Cafiero confirms government wants to postpone IMF debt repayments

In address to Senate, Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero confirms government will ask the International Monetary Fund to postpone scheduled repayments on a US$44-billion loan.

The government confirmed on Wednesday that it will ask the International Monetary Fund to postpone scheduled repayments on a US$44-billion loan.

An IMF delegation is in Buenos Aires to discuss the loan repayment, and its managing director Kristalina Georgieva said on Tuesday it had "no intention of putting pressure on Argentina."

"The conversations have begun. If we want a country that will move towards a robust [economic] model, there is no room for the deadlines to which the previous government committed," Cabinet chief Santiago Cafiero said in a speech to Congress.

"The IMF money, the Fund's US$44 billion, is no longer in the country," he added, implying it had departed through so-called "capital flight."

Cafiero said a new agreement with the IMF would be negotiated "with the Argentine people and Congress."

The first repayments are due in September 2021 on a loan organised by former leader Mauricio Macri.

It was originally due to be worth US$57 billion before President Alberto Fernández pulled the plug on disbursements after he took office in December.

"We need growth to be able to pay," said Cafiero.

In August, the government managed to restructure a US$66-billion foreign bond debt that was worth 54.8 cents on the dollar.

Argentina has been in recession since 2018, and annual inflation is currently running over 40 percent.

Poverty and unemployment have soared during the coronavirus pandemic, with the former now affecting 40.9 percent of the population.

– TIMES/AFP

 

 

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