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ECONOMY | 09-12-2019 14:58

New Economy Minister Guzmán prepares to unveil debt plan

Reports suggest economist will unveil plans this week that would seek to postpone all debt payments until 2022.

Argentina's incoming economy minister, Martín Guzmán, plans to unveil plans about the country's postponement of debt payments and the reform of the country's pension system on Wednesday, La Nación reported Monday.

Citing anonymous sources from the incoming administration, the national daily said that the economist's proposal would have three pillars: providing relief to the economy, alleviating social problems and renegotiating the public debt on payment terms.

The goal is to postpone debt payments over the next two years to avoid a social disaster and negotiate with creditors so that the economy can return to growth that makes debt payments sustainable and avoids new crises and defaults, the newspaper reported. 

A spokesman for the president-elect Alberto Fernández, who takes office Tuesday, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Argentina is currently gripped by a deep economic crisis. Gross domestic product will register a contraction for a third consecutive year, unemployment stands at around 10 percent and inflation in 2019 will trop 55 percent. 

The Noticias Argentinas news agency reported Monday that Guzmán hopes to have an agreement with the IMF and private bondholders by March that would postpone all capital and interest payments until 2022. 

Fernández and Guzmán have agreed that the "sustainability" of Argentina's debt payments are the highest priority, the agency said.

– TIMES/BLOOMBERG/NA

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