Argentina's Finance Ministry looked all set Wednesday to send over to Congress the intended deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it was reported. But it was still unclear how things would play out since the ruling Frente de Todos does not have an absolute majority in either House.
Opposition Deputy Fernando Iglesias told TN that Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) would vote against it as long as Máximo Kirchner, son of Vice President Cristina Fernández, also disapproved of it.
According to press reports in Buenos Aires, the main provisions of the deal are as follows:
a) The loan for US$44,000 million that was agreed in 2018 will be refinanced.
b) Until 2026, the IMF's own money will be used to pay off maturities.
c) Payments to the Fund will begin in 2026 and end in 2034.
d) Utility rates will rise below average wage increases. (the IMF reportedly wanted 60% increases)
e) There will be a segmentation so that the wealthiest 10% of the population stop benefitting from Government subsidies to utility rates.
f) Privilege pension systems like the one's judges and ambassadors are entitled to are to be reformed, but not the one in force for teachers.
g) The pension updating calculation mobility formula approved in 2020 remain unchanged.
h) Primary deficit will drop to 2.5% in 2022 and will continue a gradual decline in the following years: 1.9% in 2023, and 0.9% in 2024, to be eliminated in 2025.
i) Infrastructure investment spending will be increased to more than 2% of GDP in 2022.
j) Effective June 2022, there will be no more double severance money.
k) The IMF will make quarterly reviews to assess compliance with the agreement.
This agreement is a time bomb and we do not believe that it can be voted [on favorably], Iglesias said.
According to TN, the enigma lies within JxC allies of the Radical Civic Union (UCR) and how they would vote.
Congress will only have to vote in favor or against, but will not be able to make any amendments to the wording of the agreement.