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Cristina Fernandez: Argentina will not pay “even half a cent” of its IMF debt until the country exits recession

Monday, February 10th 2020 - 08:56 UTC
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“The first thing we have to do in order to be able to pay is to exit the recession,” Cristina Fernandez said at a presentation of her book “Sinceramente” (Sincerely) “The first thing we have to do in order to be able to pay is to exit the recession,” Cristina Fernandez said at a presentation of her book “Sinceramente” (Sincerely)

Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said on Saturday in Havana that the government will not pay “even half a cent” of its debt back to the International Monetary Fund before the country has exited recession.

“The first thing we have to do in order to be able to pay is to exit the recession,” Fernandez de Kirchner said at a presentation of her book “Sinceramente” (Sincerely) at Havana's international book fair.

“If there is a recession no-one will pay even half a cent and the way you exit recession is through a lot of state investment.”

Argentina needs to restructure US$ 100 billion in sovereign debt with creditors, including part of a US$ 57 billion credit facility that the IMF extended the country in 2018.

Dealings with the IMF are key as Argentina hopes to avoid a default amid a currency crash, steep inflation and a contracting economy. An IMF technical mission is expected in Buenos Aires this week to discuss obligations owed to the fund.

Fernandez de Kirchner said Argentina should get a “substantial haircut” on its IMF debt.

A leftist and militant Peronist, she has traveled frequently to Communist-run Cuba over the past year to visit her daughter Florencia Kirchner who is undergoing medical treatment there.

Her book presentation was attended by Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and a raft of other officials. The Argentine ex-president launched Sincerely, a compilation of personal anecdotes and reflections, in Argentina last year.

IMF chief Krislalina Georgieva and Argentine Economy Minister Martin Guzman last week held talks on the debt talks that both said were constructive. The talks, which lasted two-and-a-half hours, took place in the Vatican. Guzman said his talks with Georgieva were 'very good and constructive.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez had recently met Pope Francis and said the pontiff, who is also Argentine and lived through a previous debt crisis when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, had promised him to do everything he could to help with the current one.

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  • Jack Bauer

    Must say, CFK's comment really does wonders for international investor confidence.....not to mention that it looks like a signal that it is she who wears the trousers in the Fernandez relationship.

    Feb 10th, 2020 - 03:30 pm +3
  • Jack Bauer

    Yeah, I remember to whom the phrase “Bresil n'est pas un pays sérieux” was attributed to.....De Gaulle, but in fact, just to set the historical record straight , it was a Brazilian ambassador to France in the early 60s, when he was summoned by De Gaulle to clarify what the hell was happening over an incident known as the 'war of the lobsters' (France fishing lobster in Brazilian territorial waters, surrounded by a certain hostility and fake news)....the ambassador, highly critical of Brazil's foreign policy, when questioned by a Brazilian journalist on his way out of the meeting, refused to comment on it, however did coin the phrase, which became more well-known after De Gaule repeated it....seems the French love it, even Macron has repeated it...LOL

    But you're right, looks like Argentina - namely CFK - is embarking on the same policies she and her late hubbie put into practise before....with disastrous results...(it'll be interesting to see what happens....but I'm sure Reekie will defend her policy, even if it means - as you well said - not knowing where the next loans will come from); Then again, China might offer to loan a few billion (even if only to push the problem further into the future), provided the guarantee is a few 100 thousand square kms of agricultural land...that would be pragmatic)

    It's no surprise she's come back with a lot of the 'same stuff'...filling govt posts with her old cronies, refusing to pay foreign debt and loans, and of course, the stealing back home...

    Don't expect much to change, but I think Alberto had better watch his back.....he may end up “'suicided'”, like Nisman.

    Whether good cop or bad cop, she's doing Alberto no favours by shooting her mouth off.......perhaps it's just habit, not used to being # 2.

    Feb 10th, 2020 - 07:33 pm +3
  • Chicureo

    Estimado THINK

    It has been said: ”The real test of a Bridge player isn't in keeping out of trouble, but in escaping once he's in.”

    I've never played the game, but as a youngster I quickly learned you can only bluff your poker opponents when they're gullible.

    Personally I hope your country pulls it off...

    ...but I suspect it's not in the cards...

    Feb 11th, 2020 - 12:07 am +3
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