Latin America is suffering the economic effects of the post-pandemic period, but Chilean Rodrigo Valdés, 56, the economist responsible for the Western Hemisphere Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), assures that this slowdown in growth is, to a certain extent, “healthy.” Countries need “a certain deceleration to make the next [phase of] growth sustainable,” he said in this interview with EL PAÍS from his office in Washington.

Valdés is optimistic. He challenges a couple of notions that permeate the region, such as the idea that all extractive industries are bad, and that inequality has worsened. He also addresses the proposal of the leading candidate in Argentina’s upcoming presidential elections, ultra-conservative Javier Milei: dollarizing the indebted country. Valdés warns that such a measure does not replace the need for “a sustainable fiscal policy,” one “that ensures that debts are not too high.”

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