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Gov’t to Start Talks with IMF

February 2, 2007

MANAGUA – The government of President Daniel Ortega will start negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the coming weeks, according to an inside government source.

Former Sandinista congressman Bayardo Arce, Ortega’s economic advisor and trusted confidant, said the talks with the IMF had been postponed until February to await the outcome of efforts to get the Inter-American Development Bank (BID) to forgive part of Nicaragua’s foreign debt.

Those efforts paid off Jan. 22, when the BID agreed to pardon an additional $984 million of Nicaragua’s debt. The BID is expected to make that announcement official next month.

The IMF’s representative to Nicaragua, Humberto Arbulú, said he had not been informed about Ortega’s decision to postpone talks for a month, but added that the talks would begin when the Nicaraguan President initiated contact with the international lending organization.

Ortega has said he will renegotiate an economic agreement package with the IMF despite being urged not to by his close ally and revolutionary brethren, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

 

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