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Argentina president-elect discusses economic crisis with IMF chief

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) – Argentina’s president-elect Javier Milei and International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva had a first meeting via video call on Friday, in which they discussed the country’s economic crisis.

Argentina has had a USD44 billion credit programme with the IMF since the government of ex-president Mauricio Macri requested financial assistance in 2018.

The outgoing administration of Alberto Fernandez renegotiated the loan, but the recession that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic and a severe drought this year made it difficult for Argentina to meet the targets agreed with the IMF.

“Today I had an excellent conversation with the director of the IMF, @KGeorgieva, in which we talked about the great economic challenge facing our country,” Milei said on X, formerly known as twitter.

“I told her about different aspects of our fiscal adjustment plan and our monetary programme. The Fund was collaborative in finding the structural solutions that Argentina needs.”

Libertarian outsider Milei promised during the campaign to drastically cut public spending as part of a programme that includes eliminating the central bank and dollarising the Argentine economy.

He later toned down some of his rhetoric, leaving uncertainty over his actual plans.

Georgieva wrote on X that she and Milei discussed “the significant challenges for Argentina’s economy and the decisive policy actions needed.”

Argentinians demonstrating over the economy. PHOTO: AFP