IMF agree to $50bn loan for Argentina
The International Monetary Fund has agreed to provide Argentina with a $50 billion (£37 billion) loan agreement.
The deal has led to widespread protests but the Argentinian government hope the loan will fight inflation and strengthen the country’s economy.
“The package includes an immediate withdrawal of 30 percent, or $15 billion, and then we will see,” said Finance Minister Nicolas Dujovne.
At a news conference on Thursday, Dujovne said that the deal is expected to be approved at a meeting on 20 June. “There is no magic: the IMF can help but Argentines need to resolve our own problems,” he added.
Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, said: “This measure will ultimately lessen the government financing needs, put public debt on a downward trajectory and, as President Macri has stated, relieve a burden from Argentina’s back.”
The terms of the loan have been criticized by politicians including lawmaker Nicolas Del Cano. Terms include reducing the government’s budget deficit by 2020 reducing inflation to 17 percent by 2019, 13 percent by 2020 and then nine percent by 2021.
“The goals of the agreement with the IMF will mean thousands of layoffs, a lower budget for health and education, belt-tightening for the retired and labour reform. In short, a series of measures against the people,” said Del Cano.
Miguel Kiguel, a former finance secretary in Argentina, was more positive. He tweeted following the news: “It is convincing and greatly exceeds expectations. Markets should react very positively tomorrow. It is clear the country has capacity to pay.”
The IMF and Argentinian government have said that the deal would protect the most vulnerable in the country.
The interest rate of the loan will be between 1.96 percent to 4.96 percent, depending on how much of the loan the government uses.