France - Argentina

Argentina's President Fernandez on EU tour seeking support for debt relief

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez speaks after meeting Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez ahead of traveling to Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron. Madrid, Spain, May 11, 2021.
Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez speaks after meeting Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez ahead of traveling to Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron. Madrid, Spain, May 11, 2021. REUTERS - POOL

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez is to visit Paris on Wednesday to meet his counterpart Emmanuel Macron. The trip to the French capital is part of a European tour as Argentina seeks to broker a new debt restructuring deal with the International Monetary Fund and other creditors such as the so-called Paris Club. 

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Argentina, which has received $44 billion from the IMF as part of a $57 billion financing programme signed in 2018, is seeking a new deal as it faces its first repayment deadlines this year.

The country, which has been in recession since 2018, also has a $2.4 billion debt to settle with the Paris Club.

Lobby groups such as Avaaz have called on the Paris Club to off-set Argentina's sovereign debt with industrial nations for their impact on the environment. 

While on his tour of Europe, Avaaz has called on Spain, Italy and France to engage with Fernandez in finding an equitable solution for Argentia's debt while taking into account the value of the country's contribution to the protecting biodiversity and sustainable development.

Reaching out to EU business

At the end of March, Fernandez concluded that "the debt we inherited, on the terms that govern it, is irredeemable".

Economy Minister Martin Guzman, Foreign Minister Felipe Sola and First Lady Fabiola Yanez are also traveling with Fernadez's delegation, which met Portugal's President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Sunday, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez earlier this week.

Today's meeting with President Emmanuel Macron follows a morning meeting with France's business community.

Within the Paris Club, Argentina's debt to France is only around $87million, representing 3.6 percent of the total Buenos Aires owes the group. 

Fernandez is due in Rome on Thursday, where he will visit the Vatican to meet fellow Argentinian, Pope Francis.

He will then be received by Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Mario Draghi before returning to France on Friday.

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