September 26, 2019
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina is a “top priority” for the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) incoming director, Kristalina Georgieva, the press office of the treasury ministry said on Wednesday.
Georgieva met with Argentine Treasury Minister Hernan Lacunza at the IMF’s headquarters on Wednesday and told him “she wanted the first meeting of her administration to be with Argentine officials,” a statement from the ministry said.
On Twitter later on Wednesday, Georgieva posted a picture of herself warmly shaking Lacunza’s hands.
“I look forward to working with the authorities as I take on my duties on October 1. Argentina is an important member of the #IMF and we want to see it succeed,” she said.
IMF support is key for Argentina, whose jittery markets have temporarily stabilized ahead of an October general election. Strains, however, are starting to appear, and some expect the IMF to wait until the political outlook becomes clearer before disbursing a $5.4 billion tranche of a $57 billion loan deal.
Earlier this week, IMF Acting Managing Director David Lipton at Argentina’s Mission to the United Nations called a meeting he had with President Mauricio Macri “constructive” and said the Fund would continue working with Argentina to respond to the country’s “difficult situation and the challenging times ahead.”
An agency spokesman told journalists in Buenos Aires on Wednesday that it was committed to helping Argentina and working with authorities to stabilize its economy, but said it had been hard to find a quick path forward.
(Reporting by Hernan Nessi, Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)