President Alberto Fernández called on the International Monetary Fund to extend the repayment period on the nation’s debt facility beyond 10 years.
In the interview late Saturday on C5N, Fernández said the fund should recognise the coronavirus pandemic’s economic devastation on Argentina, and revise the terms of the nation’s US$45-billion loan.
“The problem is figuring out how we create a payment mechanism that extends the time period by the most possible and that doesn’t make us suffer as a society,” he said. “The more years they give us, the friendlier it is for us.”
In the interview, Fernández agreed with Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who said last week that Argentina is unable to repay the debt with the Fund, the nation’s largest creditor, under current negotiating conditions.
“How are we going to pay US$18 billion next year to the IMF? If someone has an answer, they have my attention,” the president said on Saturday. “The issue isn’t not paying, the issue is that we obtain an agreement that allows us to sustain the economic plan that we have, which is a plan for development and growth.”
The comments also come on the heels of discussions between Economy Minister Martin Guzman and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in Washington last week, which both sides described as a “very good meeting.”
Recent comments from IMF officials may diminish the prospects for a deal before Argentina’s midterm elections in October.
by Justin Villamil & Patrick Gillespie, Bloomberg