Argentine President Promises Faster Shots and Economic Growth
(Bloomberg) -- Argentine President Alberto Fernandez is pledging that an accelerated vaccination campaign will help spawn economic growth for the indebted and inflation-riddled country.
Fernandez promised to vaccinate seven million Argentines in August with a second dose in a televised address on Friday. Only 17% of the country is currently fully vaccinated, while 57% have had at least one dose.
He added that the economy will grow 7% this year and 4.5% in 2022 -- the latter a new forecast. The president conceded that inflation remains high, but assured viewers that it’s slowing down, while job growth is picking up.
He also committed to a negotiation with the International Monetary Fund to reschedule payments on $45 billion owed to the lender in a way that would be pain-free for Argentines.
“We’re growing now and we’re going to resolve the problem with the International Monetary Fund,” he said. “We’re going to do it without pressure, without rushing, and we’ll do it taking care of Argentines.”
Fernandez’s speech comes just hours before he and his team will discuss the IMF deal, among several other topics, with Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden. Sullivan is in Buenos Aires after a day of meetings Thursday in Brasilia.
The president’s broad coalition faces its first test with a primary midterm election in September and a national vote on Nov. 14.
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