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ECONOMY | 15-08-2023 16:01

PASO winner Javier Milei reveals IMF contact, plans meeting

International Monetary Fund officials contact libertarian’s team for talks; Last Sunday’s PASO primary winner assures that his people are open to clinching “a more aggressive fiscal programme” with the multilateral lender.

Libertarian lawmaker and PASO primary winner Javier Milei has revealed that he has been contacted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for talks over Argentina’s US$44-billion debt programme.

“They contacted my sister [Karina] to set up a meeting. The programme we propose is much tougher than the Fund’s so there shouldn’t be a problem,” declared Milei on Tuesday.

After confirming dialogue following last Sunday’s voting to Radio la Red, the presidential candidate assured that his La Libertad Avanza party is “prepared to govern today … with shadow teams. We received the most votes individually. If we work well, we could win in the first round.”

Consulted as to his strategy for the general elections in October, Milei maintained that he will continue along the same lines “to keep on carrying the message.”

“Argentina has been decadent for the last 100 years … it’s not just an economic but a moral crisis,” he told listeners.

Expanding on a likely meeting with the IMF in a television interview, the libertarian leader expressed himself as open to holding a meeting in the short term.

“It’s up to us to set up a meeting but we have no problems with the Fund,” he said.

Without going into further details, he further maintained that there would be no inconveniences reaching agreement with the IMF to move ahead with a feasible programme.

In that sense he manifested: “There is no problem. What is the key to all the programmes with the IMF? Lowering the deficit. And why do they always fail? Because they are not carried out. We have a far more aggressive fiscal programme than the Fund, we’d be overshooting the target because we have that conviction.”

The IMF on Monday applauded the latest measures taken by Argentina to devalue the peso and raise interest rates in the wake of the primaries, scheduling upcoming disbursements of funds for August 23, according to a communiqué.

Last month IMF technicians reached an agreement with Buenos Aires over the fifth and sixth reviews of this package, clearing the way for the remittance of US$7.5 billion while subject to the approval of the board of directors.
"The [directors] are scheduled to meet on August 23 to approve the agreed disbursements," IMF communications director Julie Kozack informed in the communiqué.

In IMF eyes, the latest measures of the Alberto Fernández government are moving in the correct direction.
"We value the latest policy actions of the authorities and their commitment to safeguard stability, rebuild the reserves and strengthen fiscal order," added Kozack.

 

– TIMES/NA/PERFIL

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