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ECONOMY | 20-11-2023 11:18

IMF chief looks forward to 'working closely' with Argentina's Javier Milei

Reacting to Javier Milei's election win, Kristalina Georgieva says she looked forward to working with Argentina's president-elect.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva congratulated Argentina's president-elect Javier Milei on Monday and said she looked forward to working with him as his country struggles with a deep economic crisis.

"We look forward to working closely with him and his administration in the period ahead to develop and implement a strong plan to safeguard macroeconomic stability and strengthen inclusive growth for all Argentinians," she said on X, formerly Twitter, following Milei's election victory.

Argentina is dealing with a severe economic crisis, with inflation soaring above 100 percent and poverty levels climbing up to 40 percent.

In 2018 it agreed a US$44-billion loan agreement with the IMF, under which Argentina pledged to reduce its fiscal deficit to 0.9 percent of GDP in 2024.

Milei, a hard-right libertarian who has drawn comparisons with former US president Donald Trump, has pledged to slash spending among other bold moves and says the 0.9 percent goal is not ambitious enough.

Milei has also said he wants to replace the Argentine peso with the US dollar.

During the election campaign the IMF said such a step would require careful preparation and would not eliminate the need for solid macroeconomic policies.

Argentina has pending a seventh review of its 2018 agreement. If it passes, the country should receive a disbursement of US$3.4 billion, which have to serve to repay maturities to the IMF and others in dollars that fall between December and January.

The outgoing administration of Alberto Fernández and Economy Minister Sergio Massa have failed to meet many of the targets set for 2023, so Georgieva may have to approve a waiver in order to sign off on the tranche.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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