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Signs of Exodus in Argentina

Posted January. 10, 2002 09:26,   


With the worries of inflation coming true in Argentina, people who have relatives abroad rushed to foreign embassies to get visas indicating an imminent grand `exodus`. Recently in Argentina, the price of daily necessaries soared due to the devaluation of the peso, and people expect the measures for economic reform to end in failure.

▽ Starting `exodus` = The Associated Press reported that hundreds of citizens flocked to the embassies of Europe countries to immigrate or to work abroad, and escape Argentina. Especially at the Spanish embassy, long lines of Spanish Argentines sit through the night on the simple benches.

Recently in Argentina, the price of daily necessaries like diapers, imported coffee, electrical appliances jumped about 30 percent. The price of wheat flour soared as much as 60 percent.

Alicia Gripi, a lawyer who went to the Italian consulate on the 8th to get a visa for his 20-year-old son, said, "The economic prospects for Argentina are difficult to predict. The most serious problem is spending several hours in line to withdraw my money."

▽ "The value of the peso plunged by 63 percent" = JP Morgan projected in a report on the prospects of the currency policy in Argentina that the value of the peso can fall by a maximum of 63 percent. The International Economic Research Institute in Washington D.C. made a negative projection that the dual exchange rate system will finally come to failure and only aggravate corruption and bad speculation.

The government of Argentina is communicating with the IMF and countries like U.S., Germany and Spain to obtain a loan amount of 15 billion dollars to boost the economy, but the prospect is hard to say.

Meanwhile, `The committee of creditors of Argentina` sent a letter to the Argentine government, which reads, "The central bank plans to pay back the 1.3 billion and 50 million dollars lent by foreign investment banks such as JP Morgan. We will go so far as to sue when it enforces the plan."

Dae-In Sun eodls@donga.com