Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a “fair” deal for Argentina as the troubled nation seeks to restructure its multi-billion-dollar debt with the multilateral lender.
The government of Alberto Fernández, which took office in December 2019, is negotiating for a new financing programme that will allow it to restructure the payment of some US$44 billion over the next three years.
“I take this opportunity to call on the IMF to give Argentina a fair deal, to make the IMF assume its responsibility for the debt,” López Obrador said Friday. The leftist leader, an ally of President Fernández, said that the Fund should recognise “honestly, ethically” that they made a “mistake” in granting the government of Mauricio Macri (2015-2019) a record credit-line “beyond what is reasonable.”
Echoing the rhetoric of Argentina’s Peronist government, the Mexican leader commonly known as ‘AMLO’ said the lender had to take responsibility for its role in agreeing the US$57-billion stand-by loan in 2018.
“For political reasons they wanted the incumbent president to win again and so they gave them money and what they did was aggravate Argentina’s economic and financial crisis.” López Obrador said, without directly naming Macri, the centre-right leader who preceded Fernández in office. “There is co-responsibility, they have to assume that,” said the Mexican leader.
López Obrador has strengthened ties with Fernández since taking office. In February 2021, the Frente de Todos leader made an official state visit to Mexico and in 2019, as president-elect, he was also received by his Mexican counterpart. After their meeting in 2019, the Mexican president expressed his support for Argentina and its negotiations with the IMF. This latest intervention comes just days after Fernández’s Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington.