Argentina and IMF make progress in debt renegotiation talks

·2-min read
IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva (left) meets with Argentina's Economy Minister Martin Guzman during the G20 summit in Venice on July 10, 2021

Argentina made progress in talks with the International Monetary Fund on restructuring the country's crippling debt, the economy ministry said on Tuesday.

Economy Minister Martin Guzman met an IMF delegation headed by Julie Kozack, the deputy director of the western hemisphere department, during last week's Group of 20 summit in Venice.

"The technical teams' meetings provided progress and understanding on key issues of the government's economic program," the ministry said.

"In particular, concrete progress was made in understanding regarding policies for the development of the domestic capital market, tax administration and the development of sectors that generate foreign exchange."

The IMF said in a statement that the meetings from July 8-12 were "productive," adding that "discussions focused on policies to strengthen the recovery, economic stability, and job creation."

"In particular, progress was made in identifying policy options to develop the domestic capital market, mobilize domestic revenue, and strengthen Argentina’s external resilience," said the IMF.

"Our goal is to support Argentina as it durably addresses its economic and balance of payment challenges.

Since coming to power in December 2019, Argentine President Mauricio Macri has looked to renegotiate several multi-billion dollar debts he describes as "unpayable" for a country of 45 million that has been in recession since mid-2018.

Argentina received $44 billion of a $57 billion loan from the IMF arranged under Fernandez's predecessor, Mauricio Macri.

After taking office, Fernandez refused to accept the rest of the loan.

This year, Argentina has paid the IMF $600 million in interest with two more tranches of another $750 million due later this year.

It must also pay off $3.8 billion of the debt in two instalments before the end of the year.

Last year, Fernandez managed to renegotiate a separate $66 billion loan that was worth 54.8 cents on the dollar.

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