With the presence of Mauricio Macri, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, Patricia Bullrich and other leading lights of the Juntos por el Cambio coalition, Argentina’s opposition held a virtual meeting where they concurred that the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was positive as a preliminary understanding to “thus avoid a costly default.”
“It is a first step so as not to continue sowing uncertainty in society. We will await the continuation of negotiations translating into the details of a definite agreement, which will later be evaluated by Congress, as established in the law which we all approved,” a communiqué issued afterwards read.
Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta published a message along similar lines in his social networks with a focus on looking at the “fine print” in Congress: “The beginnings of an agreement with the IMF clear away a scenario of default which would severely damage the country. The fine print of the agreement and its feasibility should be analysed in Congress.”
Nevertheless, he added that the government should now offer Argentines an economic plan: “But furthermore, it remains indispensable for the government to announce to the Argentines an economic plan to recover growth and create jobs.”
Earlier the Radicals had been the first Juntos por el Cambio leaders to express an opinion on the government announcement with Gerardo Morales at their head. The Jujuy governor maintained: “The initial agreement between the national government and the IMF is good news for the country” since “default would have been negative,” adding: “In time Congress will discuss the terms of the agreement. I hail the responsible attitude of the opposition in this key issue for Argentine life.”
Senator Martín Lousteau highlighted that the conversations between the government and the IMF “have avoided a default,” adding: “It’s still not an agreement, not even at any technical level, but it is a framework which one might think could be beneficial for the country.”
Outspoken deputy José Luis Espert (Avanza Libertad-Buenos Aires Province) accused the government of reaching “a bad deal” in the framework of the renegotiation of the debt to the IMF.
“It leads to very worrying levels of indebtedness,” he expressed. “We’ll be going into deficit and those who drove us into debt because they had no financing now complain about the debt.”
The deputy sees “very lax austerity leading to worrying levels of debt” and that it should be much tougher “due to the situation being at a limit.”
“Kirchnerism drove us into debt, needing to seek attention and medication from a shrink,” he added in reference to not understanding how “they can reach zero deficit so slowly.”
“And without structural reforms? I want to see who is making the cuts,” he commented while at the same time giving his opinion that nothing seems to have been closed in the IMF agreement.
Support from Lula
After announcing the understanding with the IMF, President Alberto Fernández replied in his social networks to various congratulatory messages received, among which he highlighted that of Brazilian ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
“I’m very happy that the Argentine government under the leadership of my friend Alberto Fernández, has managed to negotiate a debt agreement which preserves sovereignty and the possibility of looking after development and social justice for the Argentine people,” expressed Lula via Twitter.
Fernández replied: “Sincere gratitude to my dear Lula for honouring me with his friendship and his eternal commitment to the Argentine people.”