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UPDATE 1-Argentina's Fernandez says he won't rush new deal with IMF

Nicolás Misculin
·1-min read

(Adds quotes from Fernandez, context)

By Nicolás Misculin

BUENOS AIRES, March 1 (Reuters) - Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez said on Monday that he did not want to rush into a new deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) amid broader concerns that a previously set May date to reach an agreement will be missed.

Fernandez, addressing the country's Congress, said that Argentina would also launch judicial action to investigate the previous administration's agreement with the Fund, which he has previously criticized for exacerbating debt levels.

"We will continue our negotiations with full focus and with the firmness we have always shown, we do not want to rush," Fernandez said, adding the government's focus was to revive growth hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

"Our government's only hurry is to put production and work back on its feet in order to improve the situation of millions of Argentine families that have been plunged into the pit of poverty."

Argentina's government, which initially pushed for a quick deal with the IMF, has recently signaled its willingness to wait until later in the year, concerning investors who see an agreement as key to restoring economic stability.

Argentina restructured almost $110 billion in foreign currency debt with private creditors late last year, which helped cure the country's ninth sovereign default. The government faces mid-term elections in October. (Reporting by Nicolas Misculin; Writing by Adam Jourdan)