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Monday, 22 April, 2002, 03:47 GMT 04:47 UK
IMF says Argentina could get aid
US Treasury Secretary Paul ONeill poses with Argentine Economy Minister Jorge Remes Lenicov, left, and Argentine Central Bank President Mario Blejer, right
Finance Minister Lenicov (left) left Washington empty-handed
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By Andrew Walker
BBC economics correspondent in Washington
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The deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Anne Krueger, has said there is reason to believe the Argentine authorities can do what is needed to reach an agreement for financial assistance.

Ms Krueger was speaking after the spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington, where the Argentine crisis cast a shadow over the proceedings.

After a debt default and a currency devaluation, Argentina is now trying to save its banking system.

It wants IMF help, but the Finance Minister, Jorge Remes Lenicov, left Washington over the weekend empty-handed.

Task list

He met top IMF officials and heard what has become a familiar list of tasks that Argentina must address before it gets support.

One is a system for keeping inflation in check.

Deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Anne Krueger
Ms Krueger believes Argentina can do what is needed to get aid
The IMF also wants improved bankruptcy laws to encourage the reorganisation of businesses in financial difficulty.

And there is the politically charged issue of the control of spending by the provincial governments.

Ms Krueger believes that can be resolved.

"The Argentine authorities tell us that they are confident that they can get an agreement with the governors, so we believe that there is good reason to believe that they can bring forward the things that need doing so that we can reach an agreement," she said.

The concerns at the meetings over the weekend about Argentina's dire economic circumstances were a striking contrast with the sense of relief about the increasing evidence of a global recovery after last year's slowdown.

There was also agreement to put together detailed proposals for dealing with country debt crises -proposals that would in effect force creditors to accept a payment standstill and renegotiate the debt.

There is a lot of work to do before these ideas become reality and they are of course far too late to be any help to Argentina.

See also:

21 Apr 02 | Americas
Argentina 'risks financial collapse'
20 Apr 02 | Business
Argentina closes all banks
18 Apr 02 | Business
Argentina pleads for financial aid
05 Apr 02 | Business
IMF 'to ignore' Argentina cash plea
28 Mar 02 | Business
Aid returns to Argentina
20 Mar 02 | Business
Argentina props up ailing peso
02 Jan 02 | Americas
Argentina seeks world help
25 Mar 02 | Business
Argentina imposes new forex controls
13 Mar 02 | Business
Argentina peso hits new low
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