Argentine president seeks to stamp authority on IMF debt talks

argentine president seeks to stamp authority on imf debt talks

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MEXICO CITY — Argentine President Alberto Fernandez on Tuesday said he would oversee brokering a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over debt, asserting his authority after reports that his powerful vice president was seeking to delay an accord.

Argentina has spent months in talks with the IMF to restructure a loan secured by Fernandez’s predecessor, Mauricio Macri, to tackle a severe economic crisis in the country.

Speaking at a news conference during a visit to Mexico City, Fernandez said he wanted to be “very careful” in his talks with the IMF, suggesting that the 2018 loan was issued in a bid to help safeguard his rival Macri’s hold on power.

Comments by senior officials have raised concerns about Argentina’s willingness to reach terms. The Financial Times reported earlier this month that Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was seeking to push back an agreement until after the coronavirus pandemic was over.

Fernandez defended his vice-president, herself a former president, saying much of the Argentine media tried to depict her as “a disruptive and crazy person” bent on pursuing solutions that did little to benefit the country.

“That’s a problem that I and the economy minister have to resolve, and obviously Cristina has an opinion, and obviously I listen to her, but it’s my decision,” Fernandez said…

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