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 elections.
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 reassert...
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