Argentina forced by ailing economy to change populist policies

Source: Reuters
By: Hugh Bronstein

04.17.2014

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez is reversing some of the populist policies that defined her first six years in power and will have little choice but to stick to the new, more pragmatic path over the remaining 20 months of her final term.

Confronted by falling dollar reserves, a weak economy and high inflation, Fernandez has in the past three months cut heating gas subsidies and let the peso devalue by 18 percent.

She has revamped shoddy official inflation reporting and agreed to pay Spain's Repsol $5 billion for the 2012 nationalization of oil company YPF.

Investors long put off by Fernandez's antagonism toward big business are interested in Argentina again and hoping that more prudent government spending could bolster reserves and slow one of the world's highest inflation rates.

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