How to beat a crisis: Interview with Argentinean Vice President

In 2001 Argentina defaulted on its debt and ended the parity of its currency with the US dollar. The South American country plunged deeper into crisis, but within months economic growth set in. We asked Argentine Vice President Mr Amado Boudou if Eurozone countries can learn from Argentina how to beat the crisis.

Date issued: 18 May 2012 |

Focus on jobs

One of Argentina’s top priorities at the height of the crisis was to create jobs. This, Mr Boudou said, provides a social and economic boost.

Austerity vs recovery

Efforts to cure Europe’s economic woes through austerity measures are drawing increasing opposition, as highlighted by the recent elections in Greece and France. Mr Boudou echoed criticism of the belt-tightening policies.

Emphasis on education

A key to Argentina’s post-crisis growth was the successful renegotiation of the debt, on which it defaulted, based on its ability to repay in the medium- and long-term. This enabled the South American country not only to repay a large number of its creditors, but also to achieve growth, which had a strong impact on the education sector. Until 2003, Argentina spent 5 % of its GD on debt payments while investing only 2 % in its education system.

The key role of social protection

Following the massive economic crisis of 2001, Argentina managed in a relatively short period of time to strengthen and integrate its social security system. An important component was ensuring the incorporation of long-term unemployed workers.

Mr Boudou spoke with ILO during a visit to Geneva, where he held talks with senior officials of the ILO and the International Social Security Association (ISSA).