Putting Argentina Back Together.
Argentina is close to a three year agreement with the International Monetary Fund that would open the way for a
deal with creditors owed $64 billion.What kind of deal should they expect?
Nobody is quite sure how President Néstor Kirchner plans to put his shattered country back together.
His first three months in power have
produced bombastic speeches and wellplaced
political blows against a few
pariahs - judges, generals and even the
Iranian government - that have won
him some of the legitimacy he was
denied in May's bungled presidential
Yet Argentina is recovering faster
than anyone expected from the hell of
2001-2002, when the government
defaulted on $144 billion in debt, the
currency slid 75% and the country
plunged into its worst-ever economic
depression. The economy should grow
5% this year - the first time it has
expanded since 1998. Unemployment is
falling and incomes are recovering. The
theaters, restaurants and bars of Buenos
Aires are packed well into the night
once again. The beggars, scavengers
and homeless who seemed to be
everywhere a year ago are less visible
these days. And Kirchner is popular,
with his promises to promote social
justice, crack down on corruption and
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