As part of his European tour, President Alberto Fernández met with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez this Tuesday, gaining his support in Argentina’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Paris Club, as well as the release of Covid-19 vaccine patents.
The Frente de Todos leader arrived in Madrid on Monday, having first stopped in Lisbon where met with Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa in a visit deemed as a success. After meeting with Sánchez he was welcomed in the Palace of Zarzuela by King Felipe VI.
Argentina is looking to replace a lending programme signed by the previous government in 2018 under which it currently owes the IMF about $45 billion.
In recession since 2018, the former Spanish colony must also repay a $2.8 billion loan with the Paris Club of creditor countries that provide sustainable solutions to debtor countries.
Speaking at a news conference with President Alberto Fernandez, Sanchez said the two nations were working to get the IMF to "revise" its policy of imposing surcharges on some debtors. These surcharges are "obviously greatly hurting Argentina's financial possibilities", he added.
The IMF says it imposes surcharges to create an incentive for nations to exit its lending programmes as quickly as possible.
It has said it is willing to discuss a request by Argentina for lower rates, but any changes must be based on a consensus among members of the Washington-based body.
Fernández thanked Spain for its support for his efforts to restructure the debt his government "inherited" from the previous conservative administration of former president Mauricio Macri.
Sánchez also disclosed his plan of investment in Latin American countries, particularly Argentina, a decision Fernandez applauded as “great news”.
“We have approved a plan of internationalisation of the Spanish economy for more than 4.5 million euros and we put Latin America and Argentina in particular as one of the prioritised countries,” said the Spanish head of state.
In regards to the pandemic, the centre-left Spanish politician expressed his support for the release of Covid-19 vaccine patents in the European Union, arguing he wants to “incentivise the transfer of technology” and “increase the production capacities of the vaccine so it will be universal and drive the distribution to all ends of the planet.”
It was also announced that Sánchez will visit the Latin American country on the 8 and 9 of June with a group of entrepreneurs.
Today in the afternoon, the Peronist leader will travel to Paris and tomorrow morning he will meet with the French head of state Emanuel Macron in the Palace of Eliseo. The support of the French Prime Minister is essential for the IMF and Paris Club negotiations.
His next stop will be Italy, where he will meet with Pope Francis, a fellow Argentine. He will then lunch with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and have a meeting with Mario Draghi.
Fernández is confident of achieving the same results from the other European countries they will visit and announced that a meeting between the President and the head of the IMF will probably take place in the Vatican on Friday.
— TIMES / PERFIL / AFP / NA