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LatinNews Daily - 22 November 2021

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In brief: Argentina announces acceleration of talks with IMF over agreement

* Argentina’s government led by President Alberto Fernández has said that discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to which Argentina owes US$44bn, are being “accelerated” with the aim of reaching a technical understanding next month on an agreement. The government said this would then be discussed by Argentina’s congress and then the IMF directorate, enabling an agreement to be reached in the “first quarter of 2022”. Following the government’s defeat in the recent legislative elections, President Fernández announced he would submit a multi-year economic plan to congress in December, which was interpreted as the basis for an agreement with the IMF. Last week IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said “We are actively engaged with the [Argentine] authorities…I don't have any information on specific timings or schedule of meetings. But the engagement remains strong and is frequent.” An unnamed source with direct knowledge of the talks who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the talks told newswire Reuters last week that “The intention of the entire governing coalition is to finalise [the agreement on an economic programme supported by IMF staff] this year”. The source said that outstanding issues included agreeing “the speed of fiscal consolidation and the speed at which monetary financing gets reduced”.