Exchange the financial debt of the countries for the ecological debt of their creditors: that was raised on Thursday by the American NGO Avaaz with an activist disguised as the mythical former Argentine first lady Eva Perón singing in front of the IMF headquarters in Washington.
The staging for debt relief for emerging countries took place in the framework of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, which take place this week in virtual format due to the pandemic, and when Argentina negotiates with the IMF the payment terms of a gigantic loan.
“Mark the field, Argentina. The debt is no longer with you, it is with your land, it is with your rivers, with the future, with your people,” sang an “Evita” dressed in white and with a blonde wig, in a new version of the hit “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”.
According to Avaaz, although Argentina has a significant debt with the IMF, it also has natural resources whose protection and conservation “is worth much more to the entire planet than its sovereign debt.”
“A similar imbalance of monetary poverty despite the richness of biodiversity exists in most highly indebted poor countries,” the NGO said in a statement.
For this reason, under the slogan “Do not give in to greed, Kristalina”, the organization asked the managing director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, to review the concept of “credits” and “debts” from a new paradigm.
“May the rich countries pay the ecological debt,” could be read in Spanish on a banner held by the protesters, while at the end of singing, “Evita” held up a sign in English that read “IMF Debt: reform or rebellion.” (“IMF Debt: Reform or Rebellion”).
Argentina, which received 44,000 million dollars from the IMF in the framework of a 57,000 million program signed in 2018, is seeking a new credit agreement with the multilateral organization.
According to the Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, who inherited the loan from his predecessor Mauricio Macri, the debt “is unpayable” under the conditions in which it was agreed.
In Argentina, poverty climbed to 42% of the population at the end of 2020, with inflation of 36.1% and unemployment of 11%.