Argentina's Economy Minister Martín Guzmán reiterated on Monday that there is "no way" the government can meet its scheduled payments due to the International Monetary Fund in 2022.
Responding to questions from members of Congress, Guzmán said the government first wants a staff-level agreement with the IMF that will then be sent to Congress for a vote.
"The sequence is, first, the national government seeks to agree with the IMF staff and send that – that agreement – which forms a multi-year economic plan for sustainable development, to Congress," said the minister.
"On the other hand, the staff will send it to the IMF board," Guzmán said, referring to the agreement.
The economy minister spoke to a congressional budget committee about the draft 2022 budget.
The government "for next year faces principal maturities of around US$18 billion and for 2023, principal maturities of around US$19 billion, so there is no way that anyone could consider that Argentina could have the capacity to pay those maturities in the time period in which they were agreed," Guzmán said.
The minister added that the government's future programme with the IMF must be approved by Congress. Argentina's lower house will vote on the 2022 budget on 16 December.