IMF vows not to put ‘pressure’ on Argentina over loan

The International Monetary Fund has “no intention of putting pressure on Argentina at this time,” its managing director Kristalina Georgieva said during a visit to the South American country on Tuesday.

Authorities in Buenos Aires are hoping to renegotiate repayments on a $44 billion loan.

“We’ve come to Argentina above all to listen to the authorities, to listen to the Argentine people,” Georgieva told CNN.

“We’ve made it very clear in this crisis that it’s important to support businesses and, most importantly, workers.

“So we didn’t come here with the idea of ‘right, let’s see how we can cut spending in these circumstances,'” she added.

Argentina is hoping to renegotiate repayments on the debt agreed in 2018 under previous president Mauricio Macri.

It was originally meant to be $57 billion, but President Alberto Fernandez halted disbursements when he took office in December 2019.

The first repayments are due in September 2021.

“We’ll see how the dialogue goes. We hope to be useful to Argentina to define medium-term growth objectives, to see what the obstacles to growth are and also so that the economy comes out of it strengthened and can respond to the expectations of the Argentine people,” said Georgieva.

“We want to be part of a sustainable solution to what has been cycles of advances and setbacks in Argentina for such a long time.

“We’re going with an open mind to look for a way to give Argentina strength, stability and prosperity,” she added.

Crisis-wracked Argentina has been in recession since 2018, and its inflation is over 40 percent.

Poverty and unemployment have soared during the coronavirus pandemic. (AFP)