Argentine president Alberto Fernandez admitted “nobody is happy” with the latest understanding reached with the International Monetary Fund, but under no circumstances does it condition the Argentine government economic policy, finally confessing he “despises” the IMF.
Addressing a political rally at the Kirchner Cultural Center organized by the Argentine Federation of Municipalities, together with women Councilors and Mayors on the International Day of the Working Woman, president Fernandez also admitted that in spite of having been a strong critic of Cristina Kirchner, never did I criticize her policy of drastically cutting indebtedness.
Yes, I have been very critical of Cristina, but never criticized her policy of getting us out of the red, and I have always praised that as president she left Argentina with one of the lowest debt ratios, 18% of GDP.
Looking back when he was a close advisor of former president Nestor Kirchner (2003/2007), Fernandez recalled that when we had accumulated enough reserves we paid the IMF and told them to leave Argentina, we don't want to see you anymore around here
As to the increase of taxes and of public utilities rates, allegedly included in the understanding reached with the IMF, which will be submitted to Congress later this week for ratification and has been strongly condemned by sectors of the ruling coalition, Fernandez rejected the allegation point blank arguing I worked hard two long years precisely to avoid that from happening
Now we must face this understanding with the IMF, of which nobody is happy, some think it includes strong conditioning clauses that are going to curtail collective wishes for a quick recovery of the economy. I must insist, I negotiated two long years to avoid that!!
President Fernandez was also extremely disapproving of ex president Mauricio Macri, whom he remembered had bragged that he had the capacity to reach a deal with the IMF in five minutes, if he had been reelected in 2019.
If I had followed his advice 'this can be fixed in five minutes', I couldn't have been here today telling you all this.
Let me add that infrastructure is going to continue to grow, that education is not going to collapse, that pensioners will remain alive and no one is going to subdue our wish to keep advancing and growing. I can support this because during two years I discussed it with the same IMF, which I despise as much as all of you do, underlined Fernandez in what was seen as a direct reply to sectors of the ruling coalition which are against the results of negotiations with the IMF.
Bashing Macri again, Fernandez said that the former president left us a country entirely destroyed, with no international reserves, soaring inflation and a debt which frankly was un payable”.
In a final appeal to the audience the president revealed that the understanding with the IMF, (which still must be approved by IMF Executive Board and the Argentine Congress), lasted two years because I was more concerned about you, the people, than our creditors.
In the midst of the pandemic we fixed the debt with private creditors, we're talking of some 100 billion dollars, and now we reached this understanding which demanded two years, and this was simply because I cared more for you than for the Fund”, concluded the Argentine president.