Thousands of people have rallied in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, urging their government not to sign any kind of debt restructuring deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The loan dates back to 2018, when then-president Mauricio Macri signed on to a $57bn agreement with the international lender of last resort, making it the largest loan in IMF history. Some $44bn was dispersed, but President Alberto Fernandez, who took office in 2020, has refused the rest, and set out to renegotiate repayment terms of the loan.
The current agreement calls for repayments of $19bn each in 2022 and 2023 amounts that many say the government cannot afford to pay back amid a groaning recession that has seen inflation skyrocket and poverty continue to climb. The social organizations on the street say that paying off the debt will inevitably lead to austerity measures that will hurt ordinary Argentines.