By Carlos Aznárez and Roberto Perdía – Jan 30, 2022
On Friday last week, President Alberto Fernández announced the new agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by which he set the will of his government to extend the payment of the debts contracted by former right wing President Macri, and agreed to a series of commitments with the international financial organization where the US has the leading voice.
Since our incorporation into the IMF in 1956, this is the 22nd agreement, and in all of them there are mutual commitments to “lay the foundations for a sustained development”.
In none of the previous 21 agreements was this fulfilled. A disturbing question comes to mind: If it has never been achieved so far, why would it be achieved with this agreement? Could it be because now the “Peronist grandfather” Joe Biden is governing (as some officials here consider him to be) or because the IMF has “become better?” We have another, cruder, simpler and more logical answer: They are trying to find justification for what they have done, a new infamy and a betrayal of the Homeland.
The odious debt: illegitimate, illegal and fraudulent
The popular movement has always questioned the foreign debt, particularly the one taken after the 1976 coup d’état. It was this debt that led to a ruling by Federal Judge Jorge Ballesteros, who described it as illegitimate, illegal and fraudulent, and referred it to Parliament for it to take the necessary measures. What the parliament did was to scrupulously take care of the enemies’ interests, ensuring that nothing was investigated, that the debt was paid back, and that nobody was punished.
After the “argentinazo” of December 19 and 20, 2001, Adolfo Rodríguez Saa took office and announced before the Legislative Assembly the suspension of the debt until it was investigated. A couple of days later the president was abandoned by his own party and colleagues, and being cornered by the forces of economic power, he resigned. For the enemies of the people… things went back to where they should be.
Years went by, and there were agreements, payments, write-offs, swaps and other mechanisms that were the instruments of successive failures and of our progressive and growing decadence.
Macri made a leap in that relationship by receiving a “loan” for $57 billion, $44 billion of which arrived and is now the subject of debate. This “loan,” in addition to violating our laws, was made against the IMF’s own provisions. The payments that have already been made and this most recent agreement reaffirm this swindle, of which those who are responsible are known—the ones who contracted it and those who now validate it, over and above its insurmountable nullities.
Commitments agreed to
Without knowing yet the fine print of this agreement and with some rough outlines of the commitments to which the government agreed, we can get an idea of the course decided by the government.
A control of monetary emission means intervention in the functioning of the Central Bank; public expenditure will be subject to quarterly controls; salary and pension raises must respect fiscal goals; the narrowing of the exchange rate gap so that it does not exceed 30% opens the way to devaluation; demand for the elimination of the fiscal deficit in three years; demand for the continuity of the payment to banks of LELIQs and other financial institutions, with rates higher than inflation, which ensures bank profits, exactly what Alberto Fernández had assured to reduce in order to increase the payments to pensioners.
Consequences of the agreement
After a brief period of respite, the country’s economy will be trapped in the traditional “conditionalities” imposed by the IMF. They will lead to our submission, the stagnation of the nation and the poverty of the people. Our common goods, known as natural resources, are the guarantee for the fulfillment of the debt, because that is where the dollars are “generated” that the government needs to pay.
The extractivist plundering and the attack on the social ecology are the direct and immediate consequence of this agreement.
The political consequences of this agreement will be felt.
This agreement, like so many others, will not be fulfilled soon. Beyond some transitory advantages, the program arising from the IMF’s tutelage will suffer the same fate as the previous ones.
Ignoring our long history in this respect, its effects will fall on the backs of our people and will mark the destiny of the current government.
The agreement by the “soft ones” led by the president is accompanied by the “hard ones” such as the vice president and most of the parliamentary opposition. Their differences and “cracks” do not reach these really important issues.
The unions and pro-government social organizations run the risk of mortgaging their future by supporting this agreement.
An urgent response: Unity and its banners
The ruling party, the partiocratic opposition, the economic forces of power and the press at the service of these sectors have constituted themselves into a SINGLE DEBT PARTY.
The governing party, the trade unions and the social organizations that support it must know that they will be branded with fire as the ones responsible for trying to whitewash an odious debt and an illegal payment. The historical weight of this surrender will fall on them. The legislators still have the historic opportunity of not validating with their vote the approval of this shameful submission.
To the historic enemies of the people, we only say that they should reflect on this behavior that—if confirmed—anticipates dark and dangerous times for the whole country.
As active members of the political and social organization OLP-Resistir y Luchar, we emphasize: In the face of such an aggression against the people, the maximum possible people’s unity must rise up. We must not be fooled into thinking that Macri can return. Macri is already back, he is in this agreement.
The debt and this agreement are the instruments to get us into prolonged debt, to dominate us and to take control of our natural resources for several decades.
The necessary unity has to consolidate itselft and gather all the forces in a Front against the IMF and extractivism.
Featured image: Demonstration against the IMF in Buenos Aires, on May 25, 2021. Photo: Gaston Neck (Wikimedia)
Periodista. Director de @ResumenLatino periódico, radio y TV.
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