An International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation arrived in Argentina on Wednesday to start a visit where they will meet with national authorities to, among other matters, address the debt situation, which includes the millionaire loan that the agency approved for the country in 2018.
IMF sources confirmed to Efe that “almost all” members of the mission have already arrived in Buenos Aires, which will be headed by the Deputy Director of the Western Hemisphere Department, Julie Kozack, and the head of the mission for Argentina, Luis Cubeddu.
This is the organism’s first visit to the Argentine capital since the Peronist Alberto Fernández arrived at the Presidency last December after winning the elections in October.
The previous IMF trip to Buenos Aires was in August 2019, shortly after the last major devaluation of the peso and the strong turbulence in the markets following the results of the primary elections on the 11th of that month, in which Fernández and It was a clear favorite for the generals.
On this occasion, the team – which has changed authorities after the appointment of Kristalina Georgieva as managing director of the IMF – arrives to continue the dialogue on the economic program of the Argentine government and the economic outlook for the country.
The mission, which will be in Argentina until February 19, will meet with officials from the Ministry of Economy, the Central Bank and other government economic institutions and to learn about the authorities’ strategy regarding the country’s debt situation.
According to the latest data provided by the Ministry of Economy, last December 31, Argentina’s total public debt amounted to 323,177 million dollars – in 2015 it was 240,000 million dollars, according to the previous Executive -, of which 142,807 million were under foreign legislation
In 2018, a depreciation of the peso that generated great imbalances in the national economy led the Macri Government to request a loan from the IMF, which amounted to 56.3 billion dollars and from which the country has so far received some 44,000.
The new Government has already announced that it will launch its offer to the holders of external public debt in the second week of March to restore its “sustainability” and be able to meet its payment.
Although Fernández insists that the country wants to pay the debt to the creditors, he reiterates that he cannot do so under current conditions and asks to take into account in the negotiations the need for Argentina to grow to meet its obligations.
Protests are expected this Wednesday against the IMF and Economy Minister Martín Guzmán, who will go to Congress to give details of the renegotiation of payment to creditors.