Thousands Protest Argentina’s IMF Debt Deal
BUENOS AIRES — Several thousand demonstrators marched in Buenos Aires on Tuesday to denounce the agreement reached between the government of center-left President Alberto Fernandez and the IMF on the repayment of a $44 billion loan.
Activists from around 200 movements and associations gathered in front of the Casa Rosada, the pink government palace.
The Fernandez government must “remember Argentina’s history: all the agreements with the IMF since 1983 have brought chaos, ended in (structural) adjustments, hyperinflation and huge social crises”, said Myriam Bregman , MP for the Left and Workers’ Front (FIT). , told AFP.
The government “needs to prove why it would be different” this time around, she added.
On January 28, the Argentine president announced a new repayment agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a $44 billion loan granted in 2018 to the government of his predecessor, Mauricio Macri.
Under the new agreement, Argentina has pledged to gradually reduce its budget deficit from 3% in 2021 to just 0.9% in 2024.
According to the government, the agreement will not affect social spending or economic growth.
The deal “has nothing to do with the needs of the Argentine people, but with illegitimate and unpayable debt,” said Vilma Ripoll, another FIT leader.
The deal still needs to be ratified by Congress, where the ruling coalition has the largest constituency, but lacks a majority.
The government hopes to define the terms of the new financing program before the March 22 deadline, when 2.85 billion dollars will have to be reimbursed by Argentina, which does not have the means, according to the minister of l Economics Martin Guzman.
After three years of recession, the last two of which were linked to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Argentine economy experienced a strong rebound in 2021, with growth of 10.3% for the first eleven months of the year.
But inflation remains very high. In 2021, it was around 50.9%, while it should be 33% in 2022.
Poverty also remains high, affecting 40% of the population.
Argentina repays $1.9 billion of IMF debt
IMF accepts $50 billion deal to help Argentina’s economy
Now for the hard part: Argentina needs to get the economy back on track after the debt deal
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