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IMF, Argentina Prepare for New Round of Talks - 2002-06-12


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Argentina have reached agreement Tuesday on a new round of talks on the emergency aid package to the Latin American nation.

IMF spokeman Francisco Baker brought the good news to the Argentine government following several rounds of discussions between the country's Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna and IMF officials.

Mr. Barker said the advance team of IMF negotiators would arrive in Buenos Aires Thursday to begin the negotiations. This will be the first time in nearly two months the two parties have met.

The last round of talks with the IMF stalled when the IMF officials told Argentine President Eduardo Duhalde his government needed to cut spending and pass legal reforms before it would receive any aid.

Mr. Lavagna said there has been enough progress in his country to push talks with the IMF into what he called an "advanced stage".

Argentina wants a multi-billion-dollar loan package, and without one, there is a fear the country's economy and banking system could collapse.

The IMF has not made any concrete promises about the meeting scheduled for Thursday, but IMF spokesman called the mission a first step toward an agreement that could help Argentina get out of the worst economic crisis in its history.

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