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AmericasIMF says no date for next Argentina visit as hope fades for May deal

ReutersRodrigo Campos
2 minutes read

A teacher receives the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a vaccination rollout for teachers in Ronda, Spain February 25, 2021. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

The International Monetary Fund does not have a date yet set for its next visit to Argentina as both sides discuss an expected replacement to a failed 2018 program, a spokesman for the IMF said on Thursday.

The parties could next meet in Washington soon, as Argentine Economy Minister Martin Guzman will visit the U.S. capital next month, according to a ministry source with knowledge of the plans.

The next meeting in Argentina is, however, up in the air.

"We don't have a precise date yet for the next formal IMF mission at this stage," said Gerry Rice, the IMF's head spokesman.

Notably Rice, who earlier this month said the IMF would "do our utmost" to meet a timetable for May, stopped referring to May as a target for striking a deal.

Discussions continue, he said, as the Argentine authorities lay out their economic plan and "build a broad support for the policies" that would underpin a Fund-supported program.

A group of Argentina's creditors said last week it was concerned the IMF talks over a new deal were being "subordinated to politics."

Sergio Chodos, IMF Executive Director for Argentina, said in an interview with local outlet elDiarioAR last week that a deal before May was preferable, but not a priority.

Argentina is looking to replace a program signed by the previous government and for which it currently owes the IMF about $45 billion.

REVIEW ON TRACK

Rice said IMF staffers continue to work on an evaluation of the 2018 program aiming "to draw lessons, so that we can incorporate those lessons, and do even better in serving our members in the future."

He said the review is not just for the Argentina deal but is done to all exceptional access programs.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said earlier this week he is working to get a deal done, pledging to take charge of the matter amid concerns that his government is dragging its feet. read more

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