The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will close its Buenos Aires office in protest to Domestic Trade Secretary Guillermo Moreno’s decision to accuse the organization in court, urging it to explain how it calculates Argentina’s inflation rate, sources said.
Last year, Moreno filed a motion in court against the IMF, for which judge Alejandro Catania asked the organization to describe the methodology used to calculate the rate of increase of the price index, which was denied by the IMF staff after claiming diplomatic immunity.
Even though their response to the request was categorical, there was an impeding fear that the local staff may be summoned in court for questioning or detained, for which they gave the order to close the Resident Representative Office in Buenos Aires.
An IMF spokesperson, however, assured that the shutting down was due to budgetary issues.
“Such a closure is not unusual. The IMF has closed down Resident Representative Offices in Mongolia and Lebanon this year as part of cost cutting measures. Whilst we are not in a position to share the budget details, we can confirm that the office in Argentina was among the more cost intensive offices in the region” the spokesperson told the Bunos Aires media.
He also assured that operations with regards to Argentina remain unchanged.
“We maintain our close dialogue with the authorities and locally hired staff will carry on technical work currently underway,” he added.
The IMF offices will be closed next month and will continue to maintain relations with the Fernández de Kirchner administration through the organization’s representative in Peru, Kevin Ross.
Argentina, together with Brazil and Mexico are the three countries full members of the G20 in representation of Latin America.