WASHINGTON | IMF agrees to $50 billion deal to help Argentina’s economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Argentina and the International Monetary Fund have agreed on a $50 billion stand-by deal aimed at strengthening the South American country’s economy.

The IMF announced Thursday that the staff-level agreement will be subject to approval by its executive board, which will consider Argentina’s economic plan in the coming days.

President Mauricio Macri announced in May that Argentina would seek a financing deal with the IMF following a sharp devaluation of it currency and amid a tough global outlook.

The deal brought back bad memories for Argentines who blame the IMF’s policies for the country’s worst economic crisis in 2001. But Macri said Thursday’s deal was needed to avoid another economic implosion.

The IMF deal “is very important starting point,” Macri told reporters several hours before the loan was announced.

By LUIS ALONSO LUGO by Associated Press