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Montevideo, June 26th 2022 - 07:16 UTC

 

 

Lagarde defends IMF decision to support Argentina with a record credit

Thursday, September 26th 2019 - 09:45 UTC
Full article 2 comments
“We did the best we could at the time when Argentine leaders came to us with a very difficult situation,” the next European Central Bank chief said “We did the best we could at the time when Argentine leaders came to us with a very difficult situation,” the next European Central Bank chief said

Christine Lagarde has defended the IMF decision to give Argentina a record credit line last year, even after the US$56-billion program fell short of stabilizing the nation’s troubled economy.

“We did the best we could at the time when Argentine leaders came to us with a very difficult situation,” the former IMF managing director and soon-to-be European Central Bank chief told Francine Lacqua, in an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York.

President Mauricio Macri sought IMF support in May 2018, when a currency crisis threatened the market-friendly reforms he introduced after 12 years of protectionism under his predecessors. The unprecedented level of financial support was notable since many Argentines still blame IMF policies for leading to the country’s 2001 economic crisis.

Despite the Fund’s efforts this time, Argentina’s economy never found solid footing. Data showing it was finally emerging from recession quickly became obsolete after Macri’s shocking defeat in a August 11 primary vote sent local markets tumbling. Poverty, unemployment and inflation continue rising and Argentines are now bracing for a third year of economic contraction.

Lagarde says the IMF is often unfairly blamed when things go awry. “This is the fate of the institution, to be the scapegoat when things go wrong,” she said. “The IMF always gets a tough time whenever a program is moderately successful or not successful, and it is never mentioned when a program is superbly successful.”

The French lawyer said the IMF deal was accomplishing its goals of reducing external vulnerabilities and the fiscal deficit before things went off the rails due to a “political development.” She underscored that provisions were in place to shield those most vulnerable from the pains of austerity.

“We had anticipated that it would hurt,” she said, adding that the deal included instruments “that could actually be activated in order to increase safety measures for the most vulnerable people.”

Top Comments

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  • Jonaz_BsAs

    So, is this comedy, tragedy or perhaps both? Anyhow, everyone with a brain (which turns out to be at most 20% of Argentines) knew this was going to hell from the get go. Having Lagarde washing her hands before embarking on her new job in ECB (God help us all) is just the icing on the cake.

    Sep 26th, 2019 - 09:25 am 0
  • :o))

    REF: “IMF decision”:

    Very S00N, when all the IMF-Funds will be generously gifted to Argentina, the country will practically own/rule IMF!

    Sep 26th, 2019 - 08:49 pm 0
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