IMF working on details of loan deal with Argentina (Georgieva)

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The IMF is working to reach agreement on a new loan deal with Argentina and the next round of meetings will focus on the details, fund manager Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday.

“‘It takes two to dance’, so both sides have to do their part and find a way to an agreement, and we are not yet at that stage,” Georgieva told reporters.

“But what I can tell you is that we are working very constructively to come to an agreement.”

A spokesperson for the International Monetary Fund told reporters on Thursday that a crisis lender team will hold a new round of virtual talks with officials in Buenos Aires in the coming weeks and work towards meeting the target of government to reach an agreement by May.

Georgieva said the mission would address specific questions on “the likely shape of the program”.

She underscored the need to balance stability with helping the most vulnerable and helping to boost private sector-led economic growth.

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the South American nation faced a severe economic crisis despite massive IMF assistance in recent years.

The coronavirus crisis has exacerbated already high unemployment and poverty rates, and the government of President Alberto Fernandez aims to renegotiate repayments of a $ 44 billion loan received from the IMF in 2018.

The South American country has been in recession since that year, and the IMF predicts that GDP will contract by nearly 12% in 2020 as poverty has already climbed to over 40%.

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