A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrived in Argentina Tuesday to meet with opposition candidates for president, Alberto Fernández and Roberto Lavagna. According to a press release by the organisation, the objective of the meeting will be to “exchange views on Argentina's current economic outlook and learn more about its economic policy priorities,”
Heading the delegation will be Alejandro Werner, director of the IMF's Western Hemisphere Department; along with Trevor Alleyne, resident representative of the agency in Argentina. The visit was not reported to officially to the Finance Ministry or the Executive. Rather, it was Fernández who revealed the details of the meeting. He assured that he will receive the envoys on Thursday, June 27.
“Our first challenge is for the fund to understand that it committed an enormous mistake in lending money to a government to pay creditors and use [sic] it to pay for currency flight,” Fernández, who is leading the presidential ticket for Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s political coalition, said on Radio con Vos. “Argentina is in default and I want to get her out of it. My goal is to pay, but not to maintain the Macri recession.
Both candidates seek to renegotiate the terms of Argentina’s agreement with the IMF, in which it will receive US$57 billion.
“What is my goal? To pay. Do you know why? Because I inherited an Argentina in default. And I was amongst those of us who took Argentina out of default and I know what it costs Argentina to be in default. Argentina is in default. It's in default based on this fiction that we borrow money from the Fund in order to pay,” Fernández stressed.
Lavagna, who will have Peronist Salta province governor Juan Manuel Urtubey as his running mate in this year’s presidential election, had already met with envoys from the IMF at the beginning of 2019. Several weeks ago, he called on President Mauricio Macri to begin renegotiating the terms of the agreement.
“The most important thing that can come out of this meeting is what I marked in my previous meeting and has to do with the possibility of extending the maturities of Argentine public debt with the Monetary Fund, because it is very heavy and will be a burden on the next government,” the former Economy Minister said.