President Alberto Fernández paid tribute to the late Néstor Kirchner on the 11th anniversary of the former head of state’s death this week, using the commemoration to intensify his rhetoric against the International Monetary Fund.
The Peronist leader, who is due to attend the G20 leaders’ summit in Rome this weekend, warned that if no agreement has yet been reached with the IMF, it is because the country “will not kneel down “in front of the multilateral lender. The president conditioned an agreement to renegotiate a debt of 44 billion dollars “not to risk the future of the Argentines”.
“If we still haven’t made a deal [with the IMF], it is because we will not kneel, because we will continue to negotiate until our people see no risk to their future by paying the debt “, he proclaimed, paying homage to Kirchner, who ruled Argentina for a single term between 2003 and 2007.
“We know that many in Argentina have been left behind and are suffering, and we are the first to worry about it. In Avellaneda, a comrade said to me: ‘President, please do not kneel down'” , Fernandez said.
“How do they imagine the negotiations with the creditors? They think there is no pressure. Instead of asking me to rush the deal with the IMF, why don’t they ask the Fund to take over the responsibility to give Argentina an unpayable debt? I do not see that in any newspaper, “he stressed.
The only speaker at the Deportivo Morón stadium, which was teeming with activists from Greater Buenos Aires, Fernández spoke about Kirchner, who, after taking office with Argentina in default, renegotiated a debt of nearly $ 100 billion with private creditors and paid at the beginning of 2006 a debt of 9.8 billion dollars with the IMF.
Surrounded by governors, ministers, candidates and senior officers of the Frente de Todos, the president recalled his predecessor by declaring: “Néstor, you definitely live in each of us. I had the immense privilege of being your chief of staff and I remember every moment. Néstor is a guide for all of us and he is the light that we all follow because we had the chance to see this extraordinary president. You have to occupy the best place in Heaven.
Fernández drew parallels with Kirchner, recalling that when the governor of Santa Cruz came to power, “he had to put the country back on its feet after being socially hurt by the Alliance government”.
“They said: ‘Go with them all’, but we are not all the same. Only some were at the origin of this decline,” assured the president.
At the rally, Fernández called on the IMF “to take responsibility for the damage it caused” in 2018 by granting the administration Mauricio Macri 2015-2019 a record loan of $ 57 billion, which Argentina received $ 44 billion.
Speaking of the Macri government, the president said he was falling into “neoliberal policies like the Alliance”, arguing: “They went to ask for help from the IMF and it ended up being our ruin” .
When he took office at the end of 2019, Fernández waived the outstanding installments.
“I will fight and face anyone and whatever is necessary and I will settle with the Fund the day I know this will not condition the future of every Argentinian. I say this with the conviction that I say it because I had an amazing teacher, ”said the leader of the Frente de Todos.
Speaking to activists and after interrupting his speech several times to seek treatment for those stricken by the heat, the president referred to inflation by saying: “It worries me more than you worry. This has no other explanation than speculation. There is no problem printing money here, the money supply goes up much less than inflation. You know what it is ? The concentration of production and the fixing of prices by a few operators, against which we must take a stand because it cannot continue, because it is not fair. “
He also referred to the statements of the city mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and other opposition leaders on inflation, stressing: “Now they have realized the terrible things they said and are starting to talk about the concentration of food production. “
Argentina, which is starting to show signs of recovery after more than three years of recession aggravated by the pandemic, is seeking to replace the 2018 stand-by deal with an expanded funds facility.
Between principal and interest, it is expected to pay some $ 19.341 billion next year, $ 19.589 billion in 2023 and $ 4.936 million in 2024, according to estimates from the Ministry of the Economy.
On November 14, midterm elections are scheduled, crucial for the Fernández government, which aspires to recover from a heavy defeat suffered in the primaries last month.
– SCHEDULES / AFP / NA
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