Argentine official says government has until March to renegotiate debt: media

Argentine official says government has until March to renegotiate debt: media

© Reuters. Argentine official says government has until March to renegotiate debt: media

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina has until March to renegotiate about $100 billion in debt with bondholders and other creditors including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), President Alberto Fernandez’s cabinet chief told newspaper La Nacion.

Center-left politician Fernandez was sworn in as president last week marking a shift to the left for Latin America’s third largest economy as the country fights rampant inflation, credit default fears and rising poverty.

“The economic team is negotiating,” Santiago Cafiero said in the interview published on Sunday.

“We have to seek to resolve the debt problem so that, fundamentally, it fits into a sustainable macroeconomic program,” Cafiero said, adding that Economy Minister Martin Guzman is scheduled to travel to the United States to meet with creditors before the end of the year.

Cafiero said the government planned to put a 20% tax on goods and services purchased in U.S. dollars.

The move would aim to stabilize the peso, which has lost more than 80% of its value over the past four years, helping to drive inflation to more than 50%.

To collect money needed to repay debt and fund government operations, including programs to ease a rising poverty rate, Argentina on Saturday announced an increase in grains exports. Farmers were unhappy about the tax increase and were likely to get stung by the new tax on purchases in dollars.

“We understand the difficulties that the farm sector faces and that there are many agricultural inputs that are in dollars, but we also have to be aware that the Macri government had a currency devaluation that generated extraordinary profitability,” Cafiero said.

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Source : Reuters Link

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