With Imperial Arrogance, Imf Demands that Argentina Commit Suicide

On the afternoon of April 11, the IMF’s Anoop Singh, head of the Special Operations Division, held a highly unusual, and unperfected press conference in Buenos Aires, to brutally threaten the Duhalde government. Singh acted like an imperial overseer: the press conference was organized by IMF spokesman Francisco Baker, who flew in to Buenos Aires from Washington for 48 hours solely for that purpose. It was held at the Finance Ministry auditorium, but Finance Minister Remes Lenicov and other officials didn’t show their faces. It was the IMF’s show, in which Singh warned “it will be very difficult, and decidedly painful for the population, to try to correct the current situation without the firm support of the international community. And, for this, it is {essential} to have a program backed by the IMF.” [emphasis in original].

Singh then proceeded to read to reporters the conditional ties which Argentina must accept. At the top of the list was the demand that provincial governments eliminate their deficit and stop printing local bonds; and that the bankruptcy and economic subversion laws be altered to favor foreign “investors.” Responding to questions about specific timeframes and amounts, Singh would only say that “the timeframe and the amount {will depend on how quickly a consistent program is devised, and the Argentine economy recovers}.”

This IMF hitman then echoed U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, and his own IMF boss, Anne Krueger: The IMF, of course, wants to “help.” But, “it is the [Duhalde] government, together with the Argentine people, which must arrive at a consensus on the type of economic reforms needed at this time, and then carry them out.” The responsibility for finding a solution lies inside Argentina, not abroad, he said. “Once a solid program is put together, then financial assistance” will appear.

[Source: Clarin, 4/11/02. Buenos Aires]

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