UNITED NATIONS — Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner hit back at the IMF on Tuesday for warning her country about bad data, saying her nation would not be subjected to threats of any kind.
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde warned Monday that Argentina faces a "red card" if it does not produce acceptable data on growth and inflation by December.
An animated Kirchner, speaking to the UN General Assembly, said: "My country is not a football pitch. It is a sovereign nation which makes sovereign decisions.
"As such it is not going to be submitted to any pressure, and much less to any threat," she said to cheers.
"I would like to tell the IMF managing director: this is not a football match. This is an economic and political crisis, and the worst one in memory since the (Depression era) 1930s."
"And since we are comparing football (soccer) with politics and economics, I would like to say that the performance of the head of FIFA has been much better than those of the head of the Fund or the IMF directors," Kirchner quipped to boisterous applause.
Last week the IMF officially warned Argentina it could face sanctions in December if it did not move to begin providing more accurate economic data.
If progress has not been made by December 17, the IMF board said it "may consider additional steps," without being specific.
Failure to meet IMF rules can lead to sanctions, including suspending a member's voting rights -- an extremely rare event which would be a first for a developed G20 country such as Argentina.
The IMF and Argentina have been battling over Buenos Aires's widely questioned official data since 2011, with private sector economists saying the government vastly understates the pace of price rises.
In early September the government released monthly figures that implied an annual inflation rate through August of around 10 percent.
But a group of private economists who average their own estimates put the pace of inflation at 24 percent.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »