The 53-year-old libertarian addressed thousands of supporters from the steps of Congress, who waved flags and chanted "freedom!" and "chainsaw!" in reference to the power tool he carried around on the campaign trail to symbolize spending cuts. AFP

Argentina is reportedly close to reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a $44 billion loan program review, which would help the country get the next installment of the funding.

Argentina's government officials and IMF staff representatives were currently taking over the seventh evaluation of the 2022 loan, Reuters reported.

The review was supposed to finish by November, but was delayed due to the change in the administration, with President Javier Milei taking over the office.

"An agreement is close, the country is working to get an approval this month," one of the sources said without disclosing the name, Reuters reported.

An IMF spokesperson revealed that one of the agency's staff members will be traveling to Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, on Thursday to continue the seventh review, noting that the country was due to pay a total of $2 billion to the financial agency of the United Nations.

The $44 billion loan program agreement is aimed at providing financial assistance to Argentina to stabilize the country's economy and address its economic challenges such as inflation, fiscal deficits, and debt repayment.

The Milei-led administration had initiated a formal request for a waiver as the previous administration did not meet the agreed goals in August.

"The key is that the country's recent prior actions could allow a waiver on the program," a source said. According to the agency's guidelines, the IMF usually approves waivers to missed quantitative performance criteria if it believes that a program "will still succeed."

After taking over the office, Argentina's new president announced a devaluation of the local currency, the peso, and cuts to energy and transportation subsidies, as part of measures to revive a crumbling economy.

In response, Julie Kozack, IMF director of communications said, "IMF staff welcome the measures announced earlier today by Argentina's new Economy Minister, Luis Caputo," adding that these "bold initial actions aim to significantly improve public finances in a manner that protects the most vulnerable in society and strengthen the foreign exchange regime."

Argentina's inflation is currently hitting a 143% rate annually.

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