Economists reported for treason over alleged IMF dealings

Lacunza, Sandleris and Prat Gay, who worked in Macri’s government, have rejected accusations they advised the IMF to suspend disbursements to Argentina

Lawyers Alejandro Sánchez Kalbermatten and Daniel Valmaggia have filed separate reports in a federal court denouncing three economists who served during the Mauricio Macri presidency for “treason”. 

The reports against PRO economists Hernán Lacunza, Alfonso Prat Gay and Guido Sandleris were made after Sergio Chodos, International Monetary Fund Director for Argentina, revealed on Sunday that “three economists associated with the previous administration’s economy ministry tried to get the IMF to cancel all money disbursements to Argentina.” 

Government sources later confirmed he was referring to former Economy ministers Lacunza and Prat Gay, and Sandleris, former head of the Central Bank. The trio have rejected the charges, calling it a “conspiracy theory”.

Sánchez Kalbermatten first reported the economists on Monday for “title usurpation” – an offense referring to acting on behalf of a government without being a public official – as well as “treason”, aggravated by “intent to terrorize the population or force national authorities, foreign governments or agents of an international organization to carry out an action or abstain from doing so”. 

His report also mentions that “although their behavior does not necessarily include the use of arms against the Nation, it could be interpreted that their dealings to prevent the country from receiving a disbursement from the IMF are meant to hurt the country’s economy and, therefore, damage its integrity and economic stability.”

“This type of action may be considered a form of collaboration with enemies of the Nation or risking the security of the State, which may be interpreted as a form of treason,” he added. 

In an interview with Radio Mitre, Prat Gay recognized he was scheduled to meet with IMF authorities, but never made it to the meeting because his flight got delayed. “These guys are so useless they don’t even know how to spy on you properly: I never made it to my meeting with the IMF,” he said

The former official –who also served in the Central Bank during Nestor Kirchner’s administration–  said the people destabilizing the government are inside the ruling coalition Frente de Todos. “Who was the main figure who worked to get the IMF agreement rejected in Congress? Máximo Kirchner. It was him and his deputies who voted against it, while the opposition was the only one who voted to provide a way out,” he said. 

“The government’s accusation is false,” tweeted Sandleris. “They have 8 months left and the economic crisis is worsening. Stop lying and looking for conspiracies. Govern. Take responsibility for your disasters, for once.” 

Lacunza also responded via Twitter: “Conspiracy theories are always useful to explain your own failure,” he wrote. “This way, currency exchange risk depends on market rumors, and the IMF disbursements depend on what the opposition allegedly says. Stop delaying the exchange rate, meet the program, and the disbursement is guaranteed.”

Valmaggia, who filed his report on Tuesday, said to Radio 10 he reported them for treason “because what they did falls under that crime description in our Criminal Code”. He accused them of approaching the IMF with a view to creating “terror among the population, financial terrorism and a market-driven coup”. 

President Alberto Fernández said of Chodos’s accusation, “This is not the first time this has happened. It’s a constant practice of the Argentine right.”

According to judicial sources, both reports are being processed by federal judge Daniel Rafecas, who instructed prosecutor Eduardo Taiano to determine whether an investigation should be initiated or not. 

With information by Télam


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