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Argentina’s president lashes out at IMF over 'red card' warning

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Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez addresses world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2012 in New York City.

Argentine president has blasted the International Monetary Fund after the financial institution warned the Latin American country could get ‘a red card’ for failing to provide reliable data on its economy.

The head of the IMF Christine Lagarde on Monday said Argentina has three months to provide acceptable estimates on growth and inflation, otherwise it could face punishment.

“We had to choose between the yellow card and the red card. We chose the yellow card. If no progress has been made, then the red card will be out,” she said.”Argentina is good in football and it certainly understands what we are talking about.”

In reaction to the remarks by IMF chief, Fernandez said “My country is not a football pitch. It is a sovereign nation which makes sovereign decisions … And since we are comparing football with politics and economics, I would like to say that the performance of the head of FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) has been much better than those of the head of the Fund or the IMF directors.”

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, she blamed the IMF for its complicity in the economic collapse of her country a decade ago as well as the current economic crisis in Europe and the United States.

“I want to say to the head of the International Monetary Fund that this is not a soccer game. This is the biggest economic and political crisis in recent memory,” Fernandez said.

A group of private economists put annual inflation rate in Argentina at 24 percent, much higher than the official 10 percent figure the country released in early September.

The IMF chief gave Argentina until 17 December to address the problem, over which both sides have been at odds since last year.


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