May 23, 2013
IMF says YPF's expropriation is a 'bilateral affair'
By Carlos Burgueño
Washington (Special Correspondant). Argentina got its first point in the diplomatic match with Spain over YPF’ nationalization. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) decided to call the conflict a “bilateral affair” and “a decision of a sovereign nation,” words pronounced by the IMF’s Latin America and Caribbean Department Director Nicolas Eyzaguirre during a news briefing at the IMF, World Bank Spring 2012 meetings in Washington.
Eyzaguirre had no trouble in criticizing several decisions made by the Kirchners’ administrations before after both governments refused to accept IMF missions.
"What we expect is the nationalization to be given in a context of agreement between both nations,” the Chilean economist added after several direct talks were held with Argentine officials, including the Economy Minister Hernán Lorenzino and the Financing Secretary Adrián Cosentino.
Both officials managed to keep the nationalization of YPF and Argentina’s relations with the IMF as separate matters despite the close relationship Spanish president Mariano Rajoy has with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and despite some criticism was leaked by Thomas Helbling, an advisor in the IMF’s Researh Department, who stated that “in general state interventions make the investment environment less predictable. Companies’ expropriations do not favor investments for a long-term growth.”
Eyzaguirre’s conciliatory statements were received by the Argentine delegation as a true blessing although he reiterated the need of improving the inflation measurement techniques, the INDEC’s credibility, and obviously, the need to disclose public accounts for a mission to be sent to the country to discuss the Article IV of the IMF statute.