The IMF decision to side with Argentina in its dispute with the US hedge funds has triggered strong criticism in the UK and the issue was brought up in Parliament, according to a piece in the Daily and Sunday Express under the heading: “The British cash cow: Fury as UK money helps Argentina fight £66bn debt”.
Fury because it has emerged that at the end of the day UK taxpayers money is being used to help Argentina default on its debt but also because the Argentine government of President Cristina Fernandez is trying to strangle the Falkland Islands economy.
In effect, “Britain has committed £29billion to the IMF, which plays a key role in trying to keep the global economy afloat. The cash is available for use in loans” and IMF head Christine Lagarde anticipated this week the multilateral organization wants to petition the US Supreme Court to overrun a lower court’s ruling that Argentina must pay all bond holders.
Precisely this led Members of Parliament to question why British taxpayers should help Argentina while the government of President Cristina Fernandez bans cruise ships if they have visited the Falklands and opposes oil exploration off the islands.
Tory MP Mark Pritchard said: “UK taxpayers should not be left indirectly paying for Argentine debt. US Courts need to uphold the law, and ensure defaulters pay their debts.”
Fellow Tory Stuart Jackson said: “It is the view of the British public and more importantly of the Falkland Islanders that they are British and wish to remain so.
“They would think giving money to an organisation which supports something which is not in British interests is peculiar. The Foreign Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer need to look at this funding and seek reassurances from the IMF.”
The IMF claims a long litigation could have worldwide implications for governments trying to reduce their debts. There was no immediate reaction from the UK Treasury.
Finally the Daily Express says that a decision on the IMF stance over Argentina’s debts will be taken by its board, which is made up of representatives of its member states.