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Argentina team to meet IMF in Washington in 'coming days'

By AFP - Dec 06,2020 - Last updated at Dec 06,2020

WASHINGTON — Officials from Argentina will meet with International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff soon to continue talks on a new aid programme, a fund spokesman said on Thursday.

An IMF team opened talks with Buenos Aires last month, and officials made "good progress in defining the initial elements" of a loan programme, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters. 

Discussions are "very fluid and constructive", and a team from the Economy Ministry "is indeed coming to Washington... for meetings in the coming days," Rice said, but there is no timeline for a final agreement.

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the South American country was facing a severe economic crisis despite massive aid in recent years from the Washington-based crisis lender.

The coronavirus crisis exacerbated already high unemployment and poverty rates, and the government of President Alberto Fernandez is aiming to renegotiate repayments on a $44 billion loan received from the IMF in 2018. 

The south American country has been in recession since that year, and the IMF projects gross domestic product will contract nearly 12 per cent in 2020 while poverty has already soared to over 40 per cent.

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