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Argentina’s economy minister vows to respect IMF deficit deal

#Argentinas #economy #minister #vows #respect #IMF #deficit #deal

Argentina’s new economy “super minister” vowed on Wednesday to honor the crisis-hit country’s pledge to the IMF to cut its public deficit to 2.5 percent this year.

As part of Argentina’s long-running negotiations with the International Monetary Fund to restructure its $44 billion debt, authorities had agreed to gradually reduce the government deficit from 3 percent in 2021 to 0.9 percent by 2024.

“We will meet the primary budget deficit target of 2.5 percent. We will make the necessary corrections to keep our word,” Sergio Massa said while announcing his first actions as the new “superminister” for the economy, development and agriculture ministries, and relations with international organizations.

Argentina has suffered from an economic crisis for years, and around 37 percent of the population now lives in poverty.

In the first half of this year alone, inflation was over 36 percent and is expected to reach 80 percent by the end of the year.

At a press conference after being formally introduced to his new job by President Alberto Fernandez, Massa described inflation as the country’s “biggest poverty factory”.

“Inflation is one of the main problems that need to be tackled. The last month and the one just started will be the most difficult one in terms of inflation and from there we will start a downward curve,” said Massa, 50, an attorney by profession who resigned as President of the Lower House of Congress on Tuesday. to take up his new post.

“We are beginning a new phase of government that I am confident we will see through successfully,” Fernandez said at Massa’s swearing-in ceremony.

One of Massa’s biggest challenges will be to increase Argentina’s available international reserves, which analysts say are at critical levels.

One problem he cannot resolve, however, is the ongoing power struggle within the ruling Frente de Todos political coalition between Fernandez and Vice President Cristina Kirchner, herself a former president.

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