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ANNUAL ASSEMBLY – The IMF closes its meeting without consensus on the recognition of Guaidó

The IMF executive committee closed its spring meeting on Saturday without reaching a consensus on the possibility of recognizing Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela and thus proceed to a rescue program, although with a commitment to "act quickly" against the slowdown global.

The managing director of the Fund, Christine Lagarde, assured that the international organization has not yet reached an agreement on a possible recognition of Guaidó.

"We can only let ourselves be guided by the members, it is not a matter of our decision, it must be a vast majority of our members that diplomatically recognizes the authorities that they consider legitimate, and as soon as that happens, we will act," he said. Lagarde.

"There are some members examining their position, and as soon as that happens and we can identify the authorities, we are prepared to act, and deploy all our resources if we are asked to help, along with other" agencies, he added.

The head of the IMF reiterated her "deep concern over the humanitarian crisis" in Venezuela, which has led "millions of people" to be "displaced" or "affected in their physical integrity," although she did not mention directly the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro. .

More than 50 countries around the world have recognized Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela since that opposition leader proclaimed his coming to power in January, but some powerful nations, such as Russia and China, continue to back Maduro.

Lagarde said this week in an interview with Efe that, once the current political crisis concludes, "Venezuela will need enormous help" to overcome its economic situation, with an estimated contraction for 2019 of 25% and an inflation of more than 10,000,000. %.

Some analysts consulted by Efe put the possible rescue package of the IMF and other institutions to stabilize the Venezuelan economy at least 60,000 million dollars.

The slowdown in global growth was the other major theme of the day, as reflected in the final communiqué of the finance ministers and central governors of the 189 member countries of the IMF, meeting in the International Monetary and Financial Committee.

"Growth is expected to strengthen in 2020, but there are still negative risks," said the committee, which is the IMF's chief executive body.

Among those risks, he pointed out "trade tensions, political uncertainty and geopolitical risks", without explicitly mentioning the US trade war. and China or doubts about the "Brexit", as it is known when leaving the United Kingdom from the European Union.

"To protect the expansion, we will continue mitigating the risks, improving the resilience and, if necessary, we will act quickly in order to prop up the growth, for the benefit of all," said the financial officials in their statement.

At the press conference with Lagarde, the chairman of the committee, Lesetja Kganyago, warned that "the commercial steps that some economies are taking are having a negative impact on the global economy."

USA China and China have been negotiating since December to try to contain the trade war in which they were implicated last year as a result of the protectionist agenda of US President Donald Trump, and they hope to reach an agreement soon to contain the consequences of the mutual imposition of duty.

Their contest influenced the tone of the spring meeting of the IMF and the World Bank, which gathered this week in Washington to the economic leaders of its 189 member countries, and was reflected in the final communiqué of the executive committee.

"We recognize the need to resolve trade tensions and support the necessary reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to improve its functioning", something that the Trump government has been asking for for some time, the note said.

Lagarde also warned of the risks of interfering with the independence of central banks, in response to a question about Trump's constant criticism of the Federal Reserve (Fed) decision to raise interest rates in the United States.

"Independence has benefited its mission (from central banks) over time, and I hope it continues to do so," said Lagarde.

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