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Sunday, 13 January, 2002, 03:26 GMT
Argentina lashes out at IMF
People queue outside a bank in Buenos Aires
Argentines: Unlikely to accept more 'IMF medicine'
By the BBC's Daniel Schweimler in Buenos Aires

The interim government in Argentina has criticised the International Monetary Fund and asked it to let them get on with trying to dig the country out of its economic crisis.

The Vice Economy Minister, Jorge Todesca, said the IMF was 10,000 kilometres away without much knowledge of the situation.

We don't need the IMF telling us every two minutes what course we should take

Jorge Todesca
The IMF had asked Argentina to come up with what it called a more coherent economic policy.

The Argentine Government needs the IMF's support to tackle its economic crisis. But at the same time it is trying to placate an angry and impatient population which probably would not take much more of the kind of hard monetarist policies the IMF would recommend.

The IMF has said that Argentina must present what it called a more coherent economic policy if it is to gain its support.

Foreign investors have already expressed their concern at what they see as the government's protectionist policies and others have said that Argentina's new dual currency system is unworkable.

But Mr Todesca said Argentina was working on a coherent policy.

"We don't need the IMF telling us every two minutes what course we should take," he said.

"We've only been at this for seven days."

Food supplies

The IMF has refused to comment on the criticism.

Meanwhile, the Spanish region of Galicia, from where tens of thousands of Argentine immigrants come, has sent emergency food supplies.

And protests have continued around Argentina.

Workers who have not been paid for month, patients who cannot get access to medicine and others demonstrating against police brutality, have all taken to the streets in what remains an uncertain and volatile situation.

The BBC's Flora Botsford in Madrid
"Shares in Spanish companies have been losing value"
See also:

11 Jan 02 | Business
Argentina's peso trades again
11 Jan 02 | Business
Argentine exporters set to benefit
11 Jan 02 | Business
Argentina Inc. faces more pain
11 Jan 02 | Americas
Fresh protests rock Argentina
08 Jan 02 | Business
IMF sees more pain for Argentina
07 Jan 02 | Business
Q&A: Argentina's economic crisis
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