Argentina
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Govt. could free all time deposits in March or April

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Argentina's government could take the long-awaited step of freeing all time deposits in March or April if it can keep monetary policy under control during the first two months of the year, local broadsheet La Nacion reported. Economy minister Roberto Lavagna told La Nacion that the government's plan is to end the freeze on time deposits during the first half of this year, providing it will not affect monetary stability. The government of former President Fernando de la Rua froze time and demand deposits in December 2001 to halt a massive run on bank deposits. Subsequent governments have sought to gradually lift the highly unpopular deposit freeze. There are still 14bn pesos (US$4.35bn) worth of frozen time deposits in Argentine banks. According to the paper, President Eduardo Duhalde hopes to free all of those deposits before leaving office in May. Elections are expected to be held in April.

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