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ECONOMY | 18-01-2024 01:15

Milei vows to ‘keep promises’ after meeting with IMF chief Georgieva

President Javier Milei met IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva after his speech to world leaders in Davos; Talks focused on Argentina’s US$44-billion programme and reaction to government’s austerity bid.

President Javier Milei finally held his expected meeting with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva this week, meeting the multilateral lender’s chief on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at Davos.

"I’m going to keep my promises," the Argentine leader vowed after the encounter, alluding to his government’s bid to cut public spending and lower inflation running at 211 percent per annum.

Milei was accompanied at the meeting by Cabinet Chief Nicolás Posse, Economy Minister Luis Caputo, presidential chief-of-staff Karina Milei and incoming Ambassador to the United States Gerardo Werthein, while Georgieva showed up together with her second-in-command Gita Gopinath.

The president told Georgieva of his political decision to apply a stiff austerity plan to end the fiscal deficit and attack inflation at root. 

He also thanked the managing director for her predisposition to conclude the agreement with Argentina, outlining to her his road map for streamlining the size of the state, reducing inflation and expanding gross domestic product. 

The La Libertad Avanza leader considers his economic programme to be sufficient for reaching the agreed IMF targets for Argentina’s fiscal deficit, money supply and Central Bank reserves.

‘Fast pace’

In recent days, Georgieva has praised the commitment shown by Milei and his economic team, hailing the "fast pace" of his government and Caputo’s aides in moving to clinch a staff-level agreement.

"You were fast, that was important," eulogised the Managing Director at the meeting on Wednesday. 

Prior to the encounter, the President addressed the Forum from its main stage, telling his international audience that "capitalism and free enterprise are the only tools we have to end hunger and poverty on this planet."

The IMF chief expressed her "surprise" at the speed with which Milei’s government was moving with its measures.


Thumbs up

The meeting between Argentina's president and the multilateral lender’s top leader, their first, lasted 25 minutes. Upon leaving, they were swamped by reporters.

According to witnesses of the encounter, Milei smiled at Georgieva and gave her a hug while Gopinath flashed a “thumbs up” libertarian gesture at the President’s side, after which the trio shared a selfie.

In snatched remarks, Milei told Infobae that the meeting had “worked out impressively."

According to those covering the influential international huddle in Davos, Milei looks like a "rock star", and the selfie with Georgieva and Gopinath – who manage the IMF bureaucracy and its austerity plans – ratified his disruptive profile at that global event.

Ahead of the formal appointment with the IMF, President Milei received the Queen of the Netherlands, who was born in Argentina as Máxima Zorreguieta. They shared a relaxed chat about Argentina’s future with Karina Milei also present, according to reports.



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