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Monday, 5 March, 2001, 12:50 GMT
Argentina: appointment of Lopez Murphy welcomed

Economists in Argentina and overseas have welcomed the appointment of the former defence minister, Ricardo Lopez Murphy, as the country's new Finance Minister.

They say Mr Lopez should boost investor confidence.

Mr Lopez Murphy said he'd honour agreements made with the IMF and other lenders as conditions for a forty-billion dollar aid package, and would maintain the country's controversial currency peg to the dollar.

Analysts say he's expected to reduce public spending and taxes in an attempt to revive the stagnant economy. The former Finance Minister, Jose Luis Machinea, resigned on Friday amid criticism for failing to lift the economy out of two-and-a-half years of recession.

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