Source Pravda.Ru

IMF to seal a transitional agreement with Argentina by mid January

G7 backed the South American country and urged International Monetary Fund officers to seal a new deal with Buenos Aires

After discussing the origins of Argentina's economic and financial crisis, the Executive Board of the IMF decided to send a new mission to Buenos Aires to conclude a roll over debt agreement with the South American country. This transitional deal would postpone nation's debt payments to the IMF and World Bank until the end of August in the amount of $ 8.3 billions.

According with the IMF official statement, Directors "regrets" Argentine delays to put together an economic program to build an enduring recovery and sustain growth. However, Directors - Anne Krueger and Horst Kцhler amid them - recognized efforts towards a relatively economic and financial stability.

The Argentine Government reacted cautiously to the official announcement and remarked the agreement has not been concluded yet. However, President Eduardo Duhalde looked optimist, as expressed that Argentina had already complied with technical conditions. Cautiousness was also the attitude of IMF Directors. "To ensure an enduring recovery, Argentina should focus on achieving a clear political consensus in favor of reforms, building a sound fiscal framework, restoring confidence in the banking sector, increasing trade openness, and restructuring debt", reads the statement. IMF sources confirmed Fund mission has already left Washington and is expected to arrive in Buenos Aires today.

Cold numbers, cruel reality

Despite the good news on the international front, Argentine authorities keep on facing an explosive social situation as crisis spreads. According with latest statistics, 60% of the population lives under the poverty line, when two years ago, only 24% did it.

Furthermore, the 41% inflation rate registered in 2002 slumped one quarter of country's population into indigence. It means that 24% of country's population cannot reach the lowest nutrition levels to survive. Therefore, 8.8 million people starve in a country that produces food to feed 300 million people per year.

Yesterday, a three years old girl died of malnutrition related disease adding one new case to the former 18 in the Northern Province of Tucuman. There, local lawmakers decided, in a criminal attitude, to congratulate themselves with gold medals for their "public services" to the community. How far away are politicians from reality; as far away as Washington is from Buenos Aires.

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina

Photo: Horst Kцhler, IMF's head and most reluctant officer to agree with Argentina

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