Argentina surrendered to the IMF during the last G20 summit having admitted that the international multilateral organization will be monitoring the country’s economic program during the next fiver years, said economist Jose Luis Espert.
Argentina’s ruling couple Nestor and Cristina Kirchner “have taken distance from the IMF, which is the evil of all evils suffered in recent years by Argentina”, but following the recent G20 summit, and since Argentina adhered to the final declaration, “the IMF will again be monitoring and auditing the country’s budget and performance”.
“The government missed the shot because they only wanted a limited “aseptic” relation with the IMF, but now it’s in bed with them, and there’s no turning back”, underlined Espert quoted by the Buenos Aires media. Espert heads one of Argentina’s leading economic consultancy offices.
Nevertheless “it is positive for Argentina because the fact that IMF will audit Argentina’s numbers means the country will be able to return to the voluntary credit market from which it has been absent since 2002”, even when an understanding with the Club of Paris must be reached before hand.
Espert said that the pending debt with the Club of Paris totals “8 billion US dollars and must be paid cash”, contrary to what the Kirchners and their Economy minister Amado Boudou have been saying.
Regarding Argentine controversial statistics office Indec, Espert was particularly critical, “it’s quite easy: they must stop making-up numbers and send to jail all those who are doing it”. He added “it’s not a methodological issue or discussion but plain crime, deliberately misinforming as happens with the percentages of poor and indigent people and with inflation and growth statistics”.
“With Indec they continue to be dishonest although with a hypocritical marketing, since they have invited a multi-discipline committee to oversee the process, but a committee which nobody knows when it will meet or even get organized”, underlined Espert.
Finally he warned about the precarious fiscal situation of Argentina. “The primary surplus (before debt payments) is currently zero, while the Argentine provinces have an estimated budget deficit of 10 to 11 billion pesos (approximately 3.8 billion USD) which means the overall fiscal deficit is in the range of 30 billion pesos and increasing”.
Espert forecasted that with the current scenario the Kirchner administration are forcibly condemned to “decrease expenditure, increase taxes of accelerate the devaluation rate of the Argentine currency”.
“No wonder then that the Kirchners surrendered to the IMF: they desperately need fresh money and this can only be obtained in the world voluntary money markets”.