Argentina president-elect discusses economic crisis with IMF chief

AFP || Shining BD

Published: 11/26/2023 5:16:41 AM

Argentina's president-elect Javier Milei and IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva had a first meeting via video call on Friday, in which they discussed the country's economic crisis.

Argentina has had a $44 billion credit program with the IMF since the government of ex-president Mauricio Macri requested financial assistance in 2018.

The outgoing administration of Alberto Fernandez renegotiated the loan, but the recession that accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic and a severe drought this year made it difficult for Argentina to meet the targets agreed with the IMF.

"Today I had an excellent conversation with the director of the IMF, @KGeorgieva, in which we talked about the great economic challenge facing our country," Milei said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"I told her about different aspects of our fiscal adjustment plan and our monetary program. The Fund was collaborative in finding the structural solutions that Argentina needs."

Libertarian outsider Milei promised during the campaign to drastically cut public spending as part of a program that includes eliminating the central bank and dollarizing the Argentine economy.

He later toned down some of his rhetoric, leaving uncertainty over his actual plans.

Georgieva wrote on X that she and Milei discussed "the significant challenges for Argentina's economy and the decisive policy actions needed."

"The IMF is committed to support efforts to durably reduce inflation, improve public finances, and raise private-sector-led growth," she said.

Argentina's annual rate of inflation is over 140 percent and 40 percent of the population lives in poverty.

Shining BD