On Monday, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez revealed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seeks to impose on his country a program of fiscal restrictions as a condition to refinance the payment of debts for over US$56 billion.
“The IMF statutes establish that this institution must analyze the macroeconomic program that the country proposes. In reality, however, what the IMF Fund tries to do is impose a program on us once again. And we do not agree,” Fernandez explained.
Currently, there are two macroeconomic programs being discussed: on the one hand, the proposal made by the Fernandez administration, which is oriented to the economic growth of Argentina, and on the other, the IMF program that chooses to demand the adjustment of fiscal resources.
Since October 2021, Argentina has been trying to reach an “extended facilities agreement” to refinance the debts contracted by the government of Mauricio Macri (2015-2019). According to the 2018 agreement, whereby the IMF offered this South American country a loan of US$56.3 billion, Argentina must pay US$19 billion in 2022, US$19.2 billion in 2023, and US$4.8 billion in 2024.
Fernandez has emphasized that Argentina is not in a position to make these payments because it is still experiencing macroeconomic imbalances, which were inherited precisely from the crisis generated by the Macri administration.
The tweet reads, “Joseph Stiglitz highlighted Argentina’s recovery and alerted the IMF not to cut it. ‘Compared to 2019, it looks like an economic miracle.’ The Nobel Prize in Economics warned the IMF that ‘by now everyone should know that fiscal austerity is counterproductive’.”
“Nobody in the world thinks Argentina can pay US$19 billion for capital and interest. Therefore, it is necessary to keep talking and trying to find a solution. I am looking for an agreement with the IMF that takes into account those premises that I have always raised: an agreement that does not delay the growth of Argentina and allows it to grow in order to pay,” Fernandez pointed out.
On January 18, Argentine Foreign Affaris Minister Santiago Cafiero and the U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will hold a meeting in which they will address the IMF negotiation. Regarding this meeting, Fernandez was optimistic that “it will bear fruit.”
“So far, the U.S. has not had a clear position on the Argentine program because the program was never considered by the IMF board in its fullness. I don’t know what the U.S. will do. What I do know is that the loan Argentina received was an absolutely political loan,” Fernandez stressed.