Argentine President Alberto Fernández started his new European tour by meeting in Lisbon Sunday with his Portuguese counterpart Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
We have come to ratify our agreements with Europe so that they accompany us, Fernández said upon arriving.
The purpose of Fernández's trip is to gather European support for the negotiations towards refinancing the debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Fernández and Rebelo held a private meeting, which lasted about half an hour, followed by an extended meeting, lasting about 45 minutes, in which Foreign Minister Felipe Solá, Economy Minister Martín Guzmán Argentina's ambassador to Lisbon, Rodolfo Gil, also took part.
After congratulating their hosts for the handling of the coronavirus crisis, Fernández and his entourage insisted on the need to eliminate pandemic surcharges in the IMF's interest rate, which punishes those who are in the most adverse situation and that will be reviewed by that body at the annual meeting next October.
For Argentina these additional costs mean 952 million US dollars, it was explained.
Fernández had arrived at 5:13 p.m. at the National Palace of Belem, the official residence of the President, built-in 1559 and located west of downtown Lisbon.
Fernández is to have lunch Monday with Prime Minister Antonio Costa, before leaving in the afternoon for Spain. Fernández is said to have a very good relationship with Costa, built during his electoral campaign, in which he always described Portugal as a role model in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
On Tuesday Fernández is to meet at the Palacio de la Zarzuela with King Felipe VI and later on with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, before leaving for Paris, where he is due to chair a meeting at the Argentine embassy with businessmen in the morning before his encounter with President Emmanuel Macron.
Vital debt negotiations with the Paris Club are also expected to take place during Fernández's visit to the French capital.
On Thursday, Fernández is expected to meet Pope Francis despite the Pontiff's hopes, who would have reportedly not met Fernández following the president's involvement in legalizing abortion in Argentina.
Fernández also plans to meet Italian authorities while in Rome. Argentine media even hint a possible meeting there with IMF head Kristalina Gueorguieva is being brokered.
Fernández will then return to Argentina following German Chancellor Angela Merkel's request not to fly over to Berlin due to coronavirus restrictions.