The IMF met with an advisor to Javier Milei to advance the dialogue regarding the transition (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
On a warm night with little humidity in the Moroccan autumn, the staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) met today with Javier Milei’s economic advisor at the organization’s annual meeting in Morocco, banker Juan Napoli.
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Sources linked to the meeting indicated to Infobae that the meeting was “positive” and took place for an hour at the Sofitel Marrakech, in the elegant Hivernage neighborhood, which has comfortable facilities, abundant nighttime activities and sophisticated food.
On behalf of the Fund were the head of the Department of the Western Hemisphere, Rodrigo Valdes, and the leader of the Argentine case, Luis Cubeddu. Although the protagonists indicated that the content would not transcend because “confidentiality” was agreed, it was learned that the tone was cordial and that it was confirmed that there will be more dialogue after the presidential elections on the 22nd of this month.
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Milei had already held a virtual meeting with both Fund officials after the August primary elections that placed him in first place among the three main presidential candidates.
“The discussion was an opportunity to exchange views on Argentina’s current economic prospects and understand its economic policy priorities,” the Fund said at the time.
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As confirmed by a spokesperson for the organization, “the director of the Western Hemisphere of the IMF, Rodrigo Valdés, and other members of the IMF team, met virtually with Milei and his team this morning.” Also on that occasion were Cubeddu, the Fund’s representative in Argentina Ben Kelmanson and Ashvin Ahuja, deputy director of the area. In Buenos Aires, along with Milei, were former officials Roque Fernández, Carlos Rodríguez and Darío Epstein.
Meanwhile, from La Libertad Avanza “they were made aware of the set of reforms that will be made if they become president,” the initiatives were publicly reported and detailed: “Important fiscal adjustment, more important than that demanded by the president himself.” IMF; unification of exchange rates; close the financial deficit, via reduction of expenses; open the economy; an adjustment that will not be paid for by society or production, but rather by politics through a profound reform of the State; “promotion of a modernization of labor laws and promotion of a monetary reform that puts an end to the Central Bank.” In particular, Epstein explained that in the conversation, “the IMF explained the nature of the current agreement and expiration date,” and revealed that Milei’s response to that information would have been: “We are not going to default on either the IMF or the debt.” sovereign.”
At the assembly in Morocco there was almost no presence of economic representatives of the Argentine candidates. The Vice Minister of Economy, Gabriel Rubinstein, and the officials of the Central Bank led by Miguel Pesce were scheduled to participate, but they declined to travel due to the strong exchange rate crisis that the country is going through. The minister and candidate Sergio Massa also chose to stay in view of the imminent elections of the 22nd, in a context of deep rhetorical tension with the IMF, which, in its latest review, stated that the program signed in March 2022 by Alberto Fernández was had “gone off the rails.”
Nor did the collaborators of Carlos Melconian, Patricia Bullrich’s economic reference, travel to the North African country. “They were registered, but the economic dynamics, the creation of the program and the campaign, made them stay,” said a source from the JxC campaign.
In her last press conference prior to this event in Morocco, the organization’s spokesperson, Julie Kozack, questioned the measures adopted by the Government after the primary elections, stating that “the difficulties” that the country is going through will increase, in a context of a very high inflation.
In fact, the agency’s chief economist, Pierre Oliver Gourinchas, said yesterday that the country needs to advance “decisive” fiscal reforms to stabilize the economy and expressed confidence that the agency will continue working with the next Government.
“Argentina has had a very bad year with a macroeconomic context already in difficulty,” Gourinchas lamented in an interview with the EFE agency, in which he added that the IMF predicts that the Argentine economy will fall by 2.5% this year. but it will grow again in 2024, 2.8%.
According to the “Global Economic Perspectives” report published this Tuesday by the organization, the country’s inflation, which in 2022 reached 72.4%, will rise this year to 121.7%, to moderate in 2024 to a high rate. of 93.7%.