President Alberto Fernández has declared that "Argentina cannot pay" the US$19 billion it owes the International Monetary Fund next year in debt repayments, adding that the terms of the 2018 credit-line agreed by former president Mauricio Macri are "impossible to fulfill."
"It is evident that Argentina cannot pay US$19 billion next year. We are working so that we can achieve an agreement that is sustainable," the head of state said during an interview with reporters from local media outlets that are forming part of the official travelling delegation.
Fernández reiterated previous criticism of the 2015-2019 Cambiemos government and its deal with the IMF.
"It is clear that what Macri signed is impossible to fulfill and that it was an agreement of a plan that the Fund proposed and that in the first review, its failure was demonstrated," he said.
"Negotiations are advancing with the difficulties it entail. There are many competing interests. There is a financial world that is reluctant to change and accept the crisis that it has generated," he declared.
Addressing the G20 Leaders Summit in Rome, from whence he had just been, Fernández said that his team had "achieved the objectives that we set ourselves."
Speaking from a hotel in Edinburgh, where he will stay during the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the president said said that negotiations over a new financing programme with the Fund would continue in Rome, where Economy Minister Martín Guzmán and Strategic Affairs Secretary Gustavo Beliz stayed on.
Fernández said he was conducting a "laborious task with all of Europe" to win support for Argentina's restructuring hopes and call for the removal of IMF loan surcharges, observing that he had held bilateral meetings with outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
"What we have now achieved is for the G20 to understand Argentina's proposals and to provide resilience for low- and middle-income countries. Also from the G20, the Fund was asked to discuss surcharges. I am satisfied, the objectives we set for ourselves were achieved."