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Argentina economy minister to head to Europe to talk IMF, Paris Club debt - source

FILE PHOTO: Argentina's Economy Minister Martin Guzman poses for a picture before an interview with Reuters at the Economy Ministry, in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 10, 2020. Picture taken December 10, 2020. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s Economy Minister Martin Guzman will travel to Europe in mid-April to discuss renegotiation of the country’s debt to the IMF and the Paris Club with top finance officials, a finance ministry source told Reuters on Monday.

The five-day tour will begin on April 12 in Berlin and end on April 16 in Paris, with stops in Rome and Madrid.

The government of center-left President Alberto Fernández is scrambling to renegotiate the roughly $45 billion the country owes to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The coronavirus crisis has ravaged the top grains producer’s already ailing economy, complicating efforts to make good on its obligations.

“The objective is to get the necessary support from IMF shareholders - especially G7 and G20 - to finalize a program that will serve Argentina,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Argentina also faces the maturity of $2.4 billion in debt it owes to the Paris Club group of creditor nations, a payment it hopes to reschedule as reserves have plunged along with output.

Reporting by Jorge Otaola, writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall