ARGENTINA, Buenos Aires, (teleSUR) — Argentina’s vice president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said on Saturday that the government will not pay “even half a cent” of its debt back to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before the country has exited recession.
“The first thing we have to do in order to be able to pay is to exit the recession,” Fernandez de Kirchner said at a presentation of her book “Sinceramente” (Sincerely) at Havana’s international book fair. Her book presentation was attended by Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel and a raft of other officials.
“If there is a recession no-one will pay even half a cent and the way you exit recession is through a lot of state investment.”
Argentina needs to restructure $100 billion in sovereign debt with creditors, including part of a $57 billion credit facility that the IMF extended the country in 2018.
Dealings with the IMF are key as Argentina hopes to avoid a default amid a currency crash, steep inflation and a contracting economy. An IMF technical mission is expected in Buenos Aires to discuss obligations owed to the fund Fernandez de Kirchner stated; Argentina should get a “substantial haircut” on its IMF debt.
Earlier this month, Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, issued the following statement after meeting with Argentina’s economy minister Martin Guzmán in Rome.
“I had a productive meeting with Minister Guzmán today. The meeting was an opportunity to continue our ongoing dialogue regarding Argentina’s economic program and the IMF’s engagement and exchange views on the measures adopted by the authorities so far and their economic policies.
“As I have said before, we are aware of the difficult socio-economic situation that Argentina and its people face and we fully share president Fernández’s objective of stabilizing the economy, protecting society’s most vulnerable and ensuring more sustainable and inclusive growth. In this regard, the measures adopted thus far go in the direction of restoring macroeconomic stability and protecting the poor.”