Argentine Opposition Refuses to Attend Meeting on IMF Talks
(Bloomberg) -- Leaders from Argentina’s top opposition bloc indicated that they won’t be attending the government’s meeting at the presidential palace on Wednesday to discuss the state of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.
President Alberto Fernandez’s administration is seeking broad political support for talks with the IMF to reschedule payments on over $40 billion owed to the lender. Congress must approve the IMF program, meaning the opposition’s backing will be needed after Fernandez’s coalition lost November’s midterm elections.
When asked why he won’t attend, Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, one of the top opposition leaders, said Tuesday that the forum “is more of a political meeting than a serious meeting of institutional work.” Larreta added that the government should hold such discussions in congress, alongside leaders of each political bloc, instead of at the presidential palace.
The lack of participation from governors outside the ruling coalition isn’t a good sign for the future program, since the IMF said in December that “broad support” within Argentina would be critical to its success.
The meeting with governors on Wednesday, led by Economy Minister Martin Guzman, is expected to spell out Argentina’s proposals to the IMF on targets for the fiscal deficit, monetary financing and international reserves. Negotiations are at a critical stage as Argentina faces large payments due to the IMF this year, and Fernandez has already said the country can’t pay.
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