IMF deal does not call for austerity measures: Argentine minister

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Argentina has said its new agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to repay some $44.5 billion in debt to the lending agency relies on refinancing and does not contemplate austerity measures.

Argentine Economy Minister Martin Guzman told reporters at a press conference the deal calls for new financing to help pay current commitments and shore up international reserves, as well as reduce inflation and the fiscal deficit, Xinhua news agency reported.

“It was possible for Argentina to reach a policy agreement with the International Monetary Fund that includes no austerity measures. At the same time it proposes a gradual reduction of the fiscal deficit on the basis of a recovering economy,” Guzman said.

Over two and a half years, the IMF will provide Argentina with $44.5 billion in new financing via disbursements made every three months, according to the agreement, which still needs to be approved by Argentina’s Congress and the IMF Board of Directors.

Through the deal, the government expects international reserves to increase by $5 billion in 2022.

Argentina’s debt burden was passed on to the current government by its predecessor, which signed the largest loan agreement in the IMF’s history.

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