Lula promises to help Argentina overcome financial crisis

Brasilia, May 2 (EFE).- Brazil’s president promised on Tuesday to do “every and any sacrifice” to help Argentina overcome its financial crisis, including mediating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which he urged to “remove its knife” from Buenos Aires’ neck.

The two leftist leaders Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Argentina’s Alberto Fernández held a working meeting with their ministers which lasted for four hours at presidential palace in Brasilia.

The main objective of the meeting was to find ways to boost bilateral trade which, according to the parties, has suffered due to Argentina’s financial crisis, aggravated by the dollar shortage, high inflation and a severe drought.

“I made a commitment to my friend Alberto Fernández that I will do every and any sacrifice so we can help Argentina in this difficult moment,” Lula said alongside Fernández after their meeting.

Lula said he would speak with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to see how they can help and announced that his government intends to also talk with the IMF — which has a $44 billion loan agreement with Argentina — in order “to remove its knife from Argentina’s neck.”

Among the initiatives under study is financing Brazilian exports to Argentina through operations carried out in local currencies, which would make it easier for the Fernández government to strengthen his country’s dwindling dollar reserves.

The financing would be channeled to Brazilian exporting companies through the Brazilian development bank, which has requested guarantees from the Argentinian side.

Lula insisted that Brazil is willing to overcome any technical issues that may arise in relation to the guarantees.

“We need to help Brazilians who export to Argentina and finance Brazilian exports, just like China does with Chinese products,” he said.

Fernández said he wants Brazil to recover its position as the main exporter to Argentina, a position from which it has been displaced by China in recent months. EFE


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