Thursday 25 March 2021 4:28 pm

Argentina 'cannot' pay back $45bn IMF debt

Argentina will not be able to pay back its $45bn debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has said.

Speaking at an event yesterday, Fernandez de Kirchner said that the current conditions for paying back the debt were “unacceptable”.

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If the political parties are not able to articulate a minimum agreement on structural issues such as external debt and the bi-monetary economy, it will be very difficult to govern Argentina, if not impossible”, she said.

“With the terms and with the rates that are intended, it is not only unacceptable, it is a problem that we cannot pay because we do not have the money.”

Her comments came after discussions between Argentina’s finance minister Martin Guzman and the IMF Kristalina Georgieva earlier this week.

With crucial midterm elections coming up in December, the comments, which were first reported by Bloomberg, were deemed by many as a means of setting out her stall for the coming campaigns.

During her eight years in office from 2007 to 2015, former President Fernandez de Kirchner was frequently at loggerheads with the IMF, which is regularly portrayed as at fault for Argentina’s near-perpetual economic struggles.

“We are not saying to not pay the debt,” Fernandez de Kirchner said. “Our political group was the only one that paid the debts of all the other governments. We should make an effort, the ruling party and the opposition, to give us a longer term and a different interest rate on a debt that others have contracted.”

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Argentina has a long and tangled history with the IMF, and is currently seeking a 22nd programme since 1956.

It has defaulted on its debt twice this century, the latest occasion coming last May when it failed to pay around $500m (£364m) in interest on its already delayed bond debt.

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