(Adds context on IMF request)
BUENOS AIRES, June 4 (Reuters) - Talks between Argentina and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a financing plan are “well advanced,” the Fund’s Western Hemisphere director Alejandro Werner said in a statement on Monday.
Argentina’s government requested IMF assistance on May 8 after a run on the peso currency. The South American country asked for financing in the form of an exceptional access standby arrangement, which could be worth at least $19.7 billion over the life of the program or $6.75 billion per year.
“This will be a plan driven by the Argentine government’s priorities, with a particular focus on protecting the most vulnerable, and strengthening the local economy in light of the recent financial market turbulence,” Werner said.
The talks are expected to last several weeks. The request to the IMF was politically risky for market-friendly President Mauricio Macri, since many Argentines blame IMF-imposed austerity measures for worsening a 2001-2002 economic crisis. (Reporting by Luc Cohen Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)