There will be no conclave between Joseph Biden and Alberto Fernández until negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are on track. The White House does not share the hardening of Argentina against the IMF, and he does not want to give mixed signals with an official meeting between the two presidents in Rome. Even the diplomatic recourse of pull aside –a brief meeting in the middle of the deliberations of the G20-, to demonstrate to the outside that the abrupt tension with the IMF does not affect the bilateral relations between the White House and Balcarce 50.
Alberto Fernández and Biden will share the family photo of the G20 in Rome and they are likely to have informal contacts during the summit, But the State Department ruled out a bilateral meeting between the leaders so as not to encourage false expectations.
A meeting alone, an official photo, and a joint statement can mean that the United States endorses Argentina’s current ideological position vis-à-vis the IMF. After the discursive escalation of Alberto Fernández, his minister Martín Guzmán and La Cámpora, in Washington they decided to withdraw the signals of support until they knew if it was just a campaign resource or the triumph of a negotiation strategy designed by Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
“If we still do not close an agreement with the IMF, it is because we are not going to kneel”, The President assured yesterday during an act that paid tribute to the memory of Nestor Kirchner. A political definition that escalated to Alberto Fernández’s own speech, until now limited to the concepts of negotiation, sustainable program and compliance in the payment of the debt.
The hardening of Alberto Fernández’s public discourse will be a key aspect of the formal meeting that he will hold with Kristalina Georgieva in Rome. The meeting is scheduled for Saturday at 5:00 p.m. (local time) and will be at the Argentine embassy in Italy. According to the official program, it is the longest bilateral meeting of the tour and Santiago Cafiero-Chancellor-, Martín Guzmán-Minister of Economy- and Gustavo Beliz -Secretary of Strategic Affairs- will accompany the Head of State.
“We want surcharges to drop, to give us more deadlines and to allow us to grow through a sustainable program. That is our line of negotiation, and we are not going to change it ”, explained to Infobae a member of the Cabinet traveling to Rome with Alberto Fernández.
The government’s line of argument clashes head-on with the IMF’s negotiating terms. The board of the Fund – led by the United States, Germany and Japan – does not want to lower the surcharges, has other ideas about the sustainability of an economic program, and maintains that the terms required by Argentina are not provided for in the credit organization’s statutes. multilateral.
Kristalina Georgieva has a good relationship with Alberto Fernández and his minister Guzman, and understands the electoral logic that the President applies to contain his own voters two weeks before the elections. But the managing director was hit by her affair with China, and she has no room to display a condescending attitude toward Argentina.
Alberto Fernández and Georgieva suffer from the same political situation: they have to exaggerate internal gestures and public speeches to try to get out of a situation of weakness that affects their decision-making.
From this perspective, which tends to provide feedback, the meeting between Alberto Fernández and Georgieva will not produce progress in the negotiations with the IMF. The two will maintain their positions, there will be official statements ensuring that dialogue continues, and everything will be until after the November 14 elections.
In addition to his conclave with Georgieva, Alberto Fernández will star in a meeting with Angela Merkel who ends her term as Chancellor of Germany. The President and Merkel will meet on Saturday in “a coffee break” of the G20 deliberations, and the objective is to analyze the bilateral relationship and obtain the support of Berlin for the negotiations with the IMF.
The President and his Chancellor Cafiero are reading the best biography about the Chancellor –”Angela Merkel, the most influential leader in Europe”, written by Matthew Qvortrup-, and they are betting on getting Germany to appease its criticism of Argentina and its proposal to the IMF.
“Until the end of the year, Germany is represented on the IMF board by its central bank (Bundesbank), and that works against us. And since 2022, for two years, that position on the board returns to politics. That is why the meeting between Alberto (Fernández) and Merkel is important ”, said to Infobae a member of the Government who travels to Rome in the presidential plane.
It is an optimistic view of international relations. If Argentina does not present a viable proposal, Germany will continue to hold back its support on the IMF board.
At the La Nuvola Convention Center, official headquarters of the G20, Alberto Fernández will also meet Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the Spanish premier Pedro Sánchez, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel (pull aside), the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.
The President plans to leave for Rome around 10 p.m. and in his entourage will be the first lady Fabiola Yañez, Santiago Cafiero, Martin Guzman (He is already in Rome at the meeting of the Ministers of Economy and Finance), the Minister of the Environment, Juan Cabandié, the Argentine ambassador to the United States, Jorge Arguello (He’s already in Italy because he’s a G20 Sherpa), the secretary general of the Presidency, Julio Vitobello, Gustavo Beliz, the chief adviser Juan Manuel Olmos, the presidential adviser Cecilia Nicolini, the spokeswoman Gabriela Cerrutti and the Undersecretary of Communication and Press, Marcelo Martin.