The presidents of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, and of France, Emmanuel Macron, spoke this Saturday by telephone about the health and economic situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
As reported by the Argentine Presidency in a statement, the conversation between the two leaders lasted an hour.
In the dialogue, Fernández expressed “his concern about what is happening in Europe in general and in France in particular”, a nation where there are 111,821 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 19,323 deaths.
In the conversation, Fernández also spoke about the situation in Argentina, with 2,758 confirmed infections, 129 deaths from the disease and mandatory isolation measures for the entire population since March 20.
“This quarantine finds us in a very difficult context of recession and indebtedness,” said Fernández, whose government began last December, in the midst of an economic crisis that takes two years, and this Friday launched an offer to restructure debts for some 66,000 millions of dollars.
The Argentine president stressed that, in the framework of the health emergency, “a great effort is made from the State, pondering health and public education.”
Fernández also thanked France for “accompaniment” in Argentina’s positions before the International Monetary Fund and the Paris Club and maintained that “we must think of a new economic structure for the world and put solidarity on it.”
“The world faces a dilemma and together we will advance with this common vision. Plagues kill people and expose the soul,” said the Argentine president.
For his part, according to the statement, Macron thanked Fernández for his concern and conveyed his “happiness” for speaking again after the “positive trip” of the Argentine president to France last February.
“We are suffering very strongly from this epidemic. We made decisions to close places of social and economic exchange but we are going to end the confinement with intermediate rules to reach the summer,” the French president said in the dialogue.
“We do not know how long this crisis will last, but we do know the extent of the economic and social crisis to come,” added Macron.
On the other hand, the French president praised the “exemplary collaboration” of Argentina to repatriate the French citizens who had been stranded in the South American country as a result of the border closure decreed by the pandemic.