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ECONOMY | 18-02-2022 01:47

Argentina’s government wants to send IMF deal to Congress before start of March

Casa Rosada sources say they hope negotiations with IMF staff over a new financing programme will be completed “in a matter of days.”

Argentina’s government aims to send a bill to Congress detailing an agreement with the International Monetary Fund over a new financing programme "before March 1," according to Casa Rosada sources.

If possible, the Alberto Fernández administration wants to use the president’s speech inaugurating a new round of congressional sessions in early March to “talk about the future” and not the IMF deal, said the sources, who asked not to be identified.

Consulted by Noticias Argentinas, top sources in Government House said that talks with the IMF outlining the final details of a new financing programme for Argentina’s US$44.5-billion debt to the multilateral lender were accelerating.

"We initially believed that we would not reach March 1,” said one of the sources, explaining that the president’s speech was set to “talk about the Fund.” But, the source said, if a bill is sent to Congress next week, the head of state will be able to address other topics in depth too.

"The debate on the agreement will take place later, but if the bill has already been submitted” to Congress it would “no longer be the central theme of the speech," said one source.

After Wednesday's meeting of the IMF Executive Board to discuss the state of negotiations with Argentina, government sources reflected: "It was seen that everything was much more accelerated than we assumed."

"The staff presented and the IMF board said 'let's go.' They complained, but they approved it]. Still, there is not much left. If the Board approve what you present, you can't change much," they argued.

Another of the Casa Rosada sources added: "The Board said it was fine, that it is on track. They complained politically that the structural reforms demanded by the Fund were lacking, but that they would still move forward. In the face of this, the feeling is that it may be a matter of days" until a deal is sealed, they added.

"When the bill reaches Congress it will not be possible to change it, because it will be the agreement with the Fund," they stressed.

by Marina Devita, Noticias Argentinas

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