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Praying for a miracle: Argentina’s debts

From a newsletter from the Econmist magazine

Alberto Fernández, Argentina’s beleaguered president, kicks off his European tour this week. He will meet the leaders of France, Italy, Portugal and Spain to beg for more time to repay Argentina’s enormous debts. The country, led by an increasingly unpopular Mr Fernández, owes $2.4bn to the Paris Club, a group of government lenders, and a record $45bn to the International Monetary Fund. Mr Fernández argues that the debt is unpayable in current conditions—ie, the pandemic. To help his case he is seeking support from his country’s most hallowed son, Pope Francis. Argentina’s economy minister, Martín Guzmán, will also visit the Vatican, to lobby Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s chief, before they both attend a seminar with the pope. The politicians are nervous ahead of Argentina’s monthly inflation figure, released on Thursday, which is forecast to show inflation heading towards 50% this year. That’s almost double the government’s target, and another headache for Mr Fernández.

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