BUENOS AIRES, July 31 (UPI) -- The president of Argentina says that the International Monetary Fund has failed to take responsibility for wrecking the country's economy.
In an interview with the BBC, Nestor Kirchner agreed with an IMF report that previous Argentine governments share responsibility for the collapse. But he says that in 1998, when the IMF should have realized its policies were not working, then-President Carlos Menem was invited to address its annual meeting.
More than half of Argentina's population has been impoverished since 2001 when the country defaulted on foreign loans.
The IMF poured billions of dollars into Argentina to help support Menem's policy of pegging the peso to the U.S. dollar.
"Obviously we can't ignore the responsibility of the ruling class in Argentina," Kirchner told the BBC. "But I think the IMF has to bear in mind that it is publishing this mea culpa 10 to 15 years after the events and that the damage it's left us with in Argentina is 15 million people or more living in poverty."